Former Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon has been named the new CEO of Toys “R” Us, according to a Tuesday press release from the company.
“I consider it a tremendous privilege to assume this important leadership role at Toys ‘R’ Us, one of the most well-known retail brands in the world,” Brandon said in a statement. “I believe our best days are ahead of us and I'm eager to get started.”
This is Brandon’s first post after his resignation from the University in October 2014.
In the months leading up to his resignation, Brandon’s management was criticized for being irresponsible and financially misdirected. He grew the Athletic Department’s revenue to one of the highest in the country and used a growing surplus to enhance facilities and salaries, but students and fans saw his policies to emphasize donation totals rather than fan longevity.
The Athletic Department also came under scrutiny after The Michigan Daily reported in January 2014 that former Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons was “permanently separated” from the University for violating the University's Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and after former Michigan coach Brady Hoke was criticized for his handling of sophomore quarterback Shane Morris’ helmet-to-helmet hit in September 2014.
Brandon’s resignation came days after MGoBlog.com reported Brandon had responded to fans’ e-mails in ways many considered unprofessional. The e-mails contained messages such as, “I suggest you find a new team to support. I really don’t care about your opinions,” and “Quit drinking and go to bed.”
Per the terms of agreement for his resignation, Brandon was scheduled to receive a $3-million settlement over four years from the University. However, according to the agreement, the University can lower the settlement amount based on income he would receive from a new job.
Before his tenure as athletic director, Brandon built a business career in Southeast Michigan. He served as the CEO of Valassis Communications from 1989 to 1999, then held the same position at Domino’s Pizza from 1999 to 2010.
Bain Capital, the Boston-based investment firm that hired Brandon at Domino’s when it acquired the company, is also the primary owner of Toys “R” Us.