Former Electrolux CEO joins new board

By Alan Wolf, YSN

A reinvigorated Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) emerged from Chapter 11 last week, less than one month after its restructuring plan was approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court and just five months after its initial filing.

The voluntary, pre-arranged reorganization allowed Serta to reduce its funded debt by about $1.6 billion, which will lower its annual cash interest expense by more than $100 million. The mattress maker has also obtained a $100 million revolving credit facility that will provide additional financial flexibility, the company said.

CEO Shelley Huff said the completion of the restructuring marks a critical step toward accelerating Serta’s turnaround and strengthening its leadership position in the market. Going forward, the manufacturer will focus on returning to its innovation roots, reinvesting in its iconic brands and “nailing the fundamentals of our business with a focus on commercial and supply chain excellence,” she said.

As part of the restructuring a new board of directors has been appointed to oversee the business, to be led by chairman and prior board member Mark Genender, managing partner of equity investment firm Bristol Growth Capital. CEO Huff and General Electric’s chief auditor Brandi Thomas will retain their seats, and will be joined by past SSB CEO Charlie Eitel; Alan Shaw, the former president/CEO of Electrolux North America; and Jim Fogarty, CEO of Fullbeauty Brands. 

Together they will help SSB pursue four core strategic initiatives:

  • Leading with Product Innovation
    The company is bringing significant newness to the market this year through the refresh of the vast majority of its product portfolio. Looking ahead, SSB will more frequently update its product mix to deliver consumer-driven innovations as well as high-value products across brands and price points.
  • Brand Reinvigoration 
    Alongside SSB’s commitment to innovation, the company is increasing marketing investments and sharpening its brand positioning to create greater differentiation for the brands in its portfolio, as well as maximize the potential of each brand.
  • Commercial Excellence 
    As it brings new products to market, SSB is focused on better supporting retail partners and their sales associates to drive sales growth. The company is also leveraging its direct-to-consumer platforms to test new shopping concepts and improve the omnichannel consumer experience.
  • Operating a High-Performing Supply Chain
    The investments SSB continues to make in its supply chain are enabling the company to efficiently deliver quality products and excellent service levels to retail partners and sleepers. Supply chain enhancements include the implementation of new processes and technology as well as the optimization and upgrading of its manufacturing network.

“As we execute our turnaround, we will become an even stronger partner to retailers and will help them better serve their customers with our trusted brands and refreshed product portfolio,” Huff said.

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