Bark Replaces CMO, Adds New Revenue Officer

Bark, parent company of Bark Box subscriptions for dogs, has named Michael Parness as the new chief marketing officer, and general manager of the play division. And it has also hired Michael Black as chief revenue officer.

The announcements come as the company continues to expand its offering, hoping to boost sagging sales with moves into the food and treat categories.

Both execs have experience in the pet category and will report to Matt Meeker, co-founder and chief executive officer. Black, who had been CEO of Outward Hound, a dog toy company, is charged with orchestrating consumables strategy in direct-to-consumer and retail channels. And Parness, who has been CMO of JustFoodForDogs and Outward Hound, will drive Bark’s brand building and business growth. He will oversee the play category.

Parness replaces Cindy Gustafson, who left last year.

Like many D2C companies, Bark has struggled as consumers have lost interest in brand subscriptions. In its most recent quarterly results, Bark reported total revenue of $125.1 million for the third quarter of the fiscal year, a 6.9% decrease from $134.3 million last year. Direct-to-consumer sales fell 7.6% to $110.9 million, including $71.2 million in toys and accessories and $39.7 million in consumables. While the company also sells products through other retailers, including Amazon, those contributions to sales are much smaller, at $14.2 million, down slightly for the quarter.

The New York-based company hopes that boosting marketing and ad spending, up to $25.1 million for the quarter, compared to $21.7 million in the previous year, will help it increase revenues.

And losses fell to $10.1 million, a 52% improvement over the $21.3 million loss posted last year. "Our results last quarter highlight the significant strides we've made as a public company,” Meeker said in the announcement. He notes the company delivered the strongest customer acquisition quarter in two years and beat the high end of revenue forecast.

“We believe these results, combined with our recent retail treat partnerships, position us strongly as we approach fiscal 2025."

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