Executive appointments abound this month
By Alan Wolf, YSN
While many look to mid-summer to slow down and take off, there was a flurry of activity in board rooms and executive suites across multiple industries this month.
Among the latest corner-office announcements comes word from Tempur Sealy that Chairman, President and CEO Scott Thompson’s tenure has been extended through the end of 2026. The decision, by the company’s board of directors, continues the role that Thompson has held since September 2015.
“The board of directors is very pleased to extend Scott’s tenure at Tempur Sealy and felt that during the current, ever-changing operating environment it is critical to maintain continuity in executive leadership,” said lead director Richard W. Neu. Neu cited Tempur’s high double-digit earnings growth during Thompson’s watch and the “significant market share” gains of its Sealy and Tempur-Pedic brands, which has made them the top two bedding lines in the U.S.
“We are very confident in the executive management team’s ability to guide the company through the challenges of the current market environment while continuing to execute on long-term growth initiatives,” Neu said.
Elsewhere in home furnishings, Ashley’s outgoing sales president Rick Coppola has been succeeded by company veteran Kerry Lebensburger, who was given the new title of chief sales officer and responsibility for the vendor’s “primary channel of business” in the U.S. and Canada. Previously chief revenue officer/business development VP, Lebensburger also served as president of Ashley’s Darcy Collection, which he helped build into what the vendor describes as “the bestselling group in the history of upholstery manufacturing.”
Said Ashley President/CEO Todd Wanek of the appointment, “[Lebensburger’s] experience in marketing, sales education, merchandising and customer relationships will be extremely helpful as we navigate the current business landscape.”
On the appliance side, Kelly Mariotti was tapped to serve as president/CEO of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the powerful industry trade group. Formerly executive director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), and founder/CEO of baby furniture company Green Frog Art, she was brought on to succeed longtime AHAM chief Joseph McGuire, who stepped down in May after more than two decades in that role.
“Kelly brings a high level of energy and a strategic focus that will keep AHAM on a path of excellence and provide value for the membership,” said AHAM board chair Tim Ferry of Emerson.
“Home appliances make a huge positive impact on our daily lives, and I look forward to working with AHAM members and staff on key advocacy, technology and marketing initiatives, building on Joe McGuire’s legacy of excellence,” Mariotti said.
Also assuming a new industry post is Rob Byrd, who was named general manager of builder sales at Whirlpool. A 15-year veteran of the company, Byrd most recently served as director of national accounts sales and operations. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the builder sales team and supporting builder and distributor customers across the country, Whirlpool said.