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Bed Bath & Beyond long-time CEO steps down following investor pressure

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FILE PHOTO: A Bed Bath & Beyond store logo is pictured on a building in Boca Raton, Florida March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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(Reuters) - Bed Bath & Beyond Inc's (BBBY.O) long-time Chief Executive Officer Steven Temares stepped down on Monday, following pressure from a group of activist investors that had been pushing for his ouster and a shakeup of the furnishing retailer's board.

The group, comprising Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Ancora Advisors LLC, had piled pressure on the company since March, citing the company's inability to grow sales and margins.

The retailer has struggled to keep pace with changing consumer tastes and shopping habits, reporting 1.1% growth in sales last year compared with over 22% in 2003, when Temares took over as CEO.

The company's shares have lost nearly 80% in the past five years. The stock was up 3% on Monday.

The retailer named Mary Winston, currently a board member, as interim CEO. The Board has started a search for a permanent CEO, the company said in a statement.

The investor group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Winston was one of the five newly appointed independent members on the company's board. The shake-up, however, did not please the investors, who declined an invitation to participate in the transformation of the board.

(Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)