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Hot Topic Gets New Outside Chairman, Shuffles Committees

Hot Topic Gets New Outside Chairman, Shuffles Committees


Staff Reporter

Hot Topic Inc. named an independent director as its new chairman and established a special committee of the board to oversee matters of corporate governance, including business ethics and conflicts of interest.

The five-member governance committee will be made up entirely of independent directors and has no set plans, other than “to look at issues as they arise,” said Andy Schuon, a member of the committee and a director of the teen retail chain since 1998.

“We thought this would be a good step for the company,” said Schuon, president of Infinity Broadcasting Corp., a division of Viacom Inc.

Hot Topic, based in Industry, named Bruce A. Quinnell, former vice chairman of Borders Group Inc. and a company director since 1999, as its new chairman.

He replaces Robert Jaffe, who left the board completely and will not be replaced. Jaffe, chief executive of a San Diego-based venture capital firm, was an early investor in the company and left to pursue other interests.

Schuon said the board did not place special emphasis on continuing with a non-employee chairman. But he acknowledged the benefits of the move. “It’s not a requirement (that the chairman be independent),” he said. “But it certainly doesn’t hurt.”

The company reported net income of $4.3 million (13 cents per diluted share) for the second quarter ended Aug. 3, compared with $4.3 million (13 cents) in the like year-earlier quarter. Second-quarter revenues were $92.5 million, up from $72 million in the second quarter of 2001.

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