H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb is retiring, and an interim will take over

H&R Block Inc., after struggling to recover from tax customer losses a year ago, said it is replacing its chief executive officer.

The Kansas City-based tax preparation company said Bill Cobb will retire at the end of July and that the company’s general counsel, Tom Gerke, will succeed him in an interim role. The announcement came six years to the day after Cobb assumed the CEO title on May 16, 2011.

“Bill Cobb came out of retirement to join our board in 2010 and less than a year later stepped into the CEO role,” Block chairman Robert A. Gerard said in the announcement. “Bill led the transformation of H&R Block into a well-run company focused on our state-of-the-art tax preparation business, with a strong and committed management team, financial stability and an exciting future.”

Cobb had called the company’s tax season a year ago unacceptable and missed out on potential bonuses as a strong promotional campaign by TurboTax maker Intuit Inc. won the battle for customers.

In the most recent tax season, which ended in April, H&R Block returned to growth for its digital tax customers but saw overall customer counts decline. The company declared victory, however, saying it had gained a greater share of the market because its total customer count declined less than the decline in overall tax filings.

Read more: Kansas City Star, Kansas City Business Journal


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