Derek Schmidt will assume the mantle on July 1

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Derek Schmidt, president of BrandSource vendor partner Flexsteel Industries, will add CEO to his title effective July 1.

He succeeds Jerald Dittmer, who will stay on with the Dubuque, Iowa-based furniture manufacturer and importer through year’s end in an advisory role.

See: FTS Visits with Flexsteel

Driver of Change

Since joining Flexsteel four years ago as CFO and COO, Schmidt has assumed increased responsibility for manufacturing, sourcing and procurement, logistics and distribution, product management and development, and sales and marketing.

He was promoted to president in January.

“Derek has been instrumental in the development and execution of the company’s strategy over the last four years and has been a driver of organizational change and culture development,” Dittmer said. “His experience both within and outside of Flexsteel uniquely equips him to take Flexsteel’s growth strategy forward.”

Growth Strategies

The company specifically credits Schmidt with creating strategies and investments to: pursue growth in new markets; enhance the customer experience; improve speed of product development and innovation; strengthen operational capabilities and supply chain management; advance sustainable business practices; and position Flexsteel for profitable long-term growth.

Those efforts were reflected in the company’s fiscal third-quarter earnings report, released concurrently with news of Schmidt’s ascendency. Net sales rose 8.2% to $107.2 million for the three months ended March 31 and net income increased 20% to $1.8 million.

Words of Praise

Flexsteel Chairman Tom Levine also offered praise for the retiring CEO. “Mr. Dittmer’s legacy is that of significant business transformation and unwavering leadership through unprecedented times,” he said. “I would like to thank him for his significant contributions to Flexsteel and his active participation in the execution of a strong succession plan with Mr. Schmidt. I am proud of the legacy Mr. Dittmer has built and am excited for what the future holds for Flexsteel under the leadership of Mr. Schmidt.”

Flexsteel is one of the largest manufacturers, importers and marketers of residential furniture in the U.S., and takes its name from the steel drop-in seat spring that’s featured in most of its upholstered products. It’s vast assortment spans sofas, loveseats, chairs, reclining rocking chairs, swivel rockers, sofa beds, convertible bedding units, occasional tables, desks, dining tables and chairs, kitchen storage, and bedroom and outdoor furniture, which is distributed throughout the country via its e-commerce channel and direct sales force.

Upcoming Events