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Search for Serta president under way

Jane Kitchen, David Perry -- Furniture Today, November 19, 2013

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — A formal search process to name a president for the Serta brand is now under way, Furniture/Today has learned.

Gary Fazio, CEO of Serta Simmons Holdings, the parent company of the Serta and Simmons brands, confirmed to the newspaper that the process has begun.

Serta has been without a president since Oct. 1, when longtime Serta leader Bob Sherman abruptly left the company. His wife, Barbara Bradford, a senior Serta executive, also departed at that time. No official explanations have been offered for the departure of the two executives.

In the weeks following Sherman's exit there has been considerable speculation in the industry about who might succeed Sherman at the helm of Serta.

But Fazio said that leader probably won't be named for some time.

He said the company has engaged the services of a global executive search firm to lead the process of identifying candidates for the Serta president post, including candidates from the current Serta/Serta Simmons Holdings organization.

Fazio said the search will be carefully managed, and added that it "will likely take a number of months to complete."

Asked why it took so long to launch the formal search process, Fazio said other tasks had to be completed first, among them the naming of a new operations team to implement a "strategic transformation" of the operations at Serta and Simmons. Simmons executive Mark Baron is heading the new operations team, assisted by Serta executive Jay Patel.

Fazio, who remains CEO of Simmons, acknowledged "it was obvious" that Serta needs a president to lead the brand.

Serta Simmons Holdings is committed to maintaining independent leadership and management of both the Serta and Simmons brands, Fazio said.

He was named CEO of Serta Simmons Holdings on Oct. 1, the same day that Sherman's departure from the company was announced.

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