Spokane Journal of Business

Kaspien, CEO Chopra part ways

Spokane Valley-based e-commerce company names CFO Kowalchuk as interim CEO

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Kaspien Holdings Inc. interim CEO Brock Kowalchuk, right, stands with former CEO Kunal Chopra in this photo from January 2020.

Kaspien Holdings Inc. and its CEO, Kunal Chopra, have parted ways, and the Spokane Valley-based e-commerce company has named Chief Financial Officer Brock Kowalchuk as interim CEO.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated March 11, Kaspien reported Chopra no longer is employed by the company. It intends to enter into a separation agreement with Chopra and will provide a brief description of the agreement’s terms, if one is reached, according to the filing.

The company’s board of directors plans to conduct a search for Chopra’s successor that will involve both internal and external candidates.

Chopra, who previously worked in executive roles at Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., became CEO of Kaspien in September of 2019, when it was still named etailz.

Kowalchuk, 33, joined Kaspien as senior vice president of finance in September 2018, and the company promoted him to chief financial officer 16 months later. During the eight years prior, he worked at Goldman Sachs in a variety of roles.

Publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the KSPN stock symbol, Kaspien reported a net loss of $886,000, or 36 cents a diluted share, in its fiscal 2021 third quarter, ended Oct. 30, compared with net income of $2.6 million, or $1.39 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. For the first three quarters of the fiscal year, the company posted a loss of $2.2 million, compared with a loss of $3.8 million in the year-earlier period.

The company’s fiscal fourth quarter ended in late January, but it hasn’t released those results yet.

Kaspien’s stock was trading at $7.25 a share at market close on Friday, March 11, down considerably from a 52-week high of $47.44 a share but above the 52-week per-share low of $6.79

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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