Industry Moves: Blockbuster Taps Former 7-Eleven Exec Keyes As Chairman and CEO

As it continues to struggle with rival video renter Netflix, Blockbuster has chosen James Keyes, who spent most of the past two decades at convenience chain 7-Eleven, to be its new CEO and chairman. He replaces John Antioco, who agreed to step down from the post in March and will stay on to assist with the transition. The choice of Keyes, who served as CEO and chairman of 7-Eleven from 2000-2005, would seem to be counterintuitive given the digital challenges Blockbuster faces. But in announcing his hire, the company highlighted his decisions to upgrade 7-Eleven’s retail systems technology and introduce a variety of electronic services. And while Keyes retired from 7-Eleven two years ago, Blockbuster board member Carl Icahn cited his “multi-unit retailing background,” as well as his focus on technology, as making him the right person to lead the company at this point. Release