Serta CFO Brian Callahan adds Simmons duties
David Perry -- Furniture Today, July 1, 2011
ATLANTA — Longtime Chief Financial Officer Bill Creekmuir has left Simmons and his duties have been assumed by Serta CFO Brian Callahan, officials confirmed this week.
Simmons CEO Gary Fazio said the move is part of the push for "back-room synergies" at Simmons and Serta, both owned by Ares Management and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. He said the Simmons and Serta brands will continue to compete aggressively against one another in the market, as they have in the past.
Callahan reports to Bob Sherman for Serta issues and to Fazio for Simmons issues, Fazio said.
Creekmuir is a well-known figure in the home furnishings industry who spent several years at Simmons. He has not announced his future plans.
In another move, Simmons and Serta will share the general counsel work done by Kristen McGuffey, general counsel at Simmons. Fazio said there were no personnel departures as a result of that shared responsibility.
Executives with the owners of Simmons and Serta have said the companies are pursuing synergies in back-shop areas such as purchasing and information technology. Donna Zett, a veteran Serta executive, heads IT operations for the two companies.
Fazio also acknowledged that the Simmons factory in San Leandro, Calif., is "in the process" of producing Serta bedding for some customers in northern California. He said that Serta "has a void" in that area and that with rising delivery costs it makes sense to ship those customers Serta bedding from the Simmons factory.
"We know we can do this but we want to make sure we can do it right," Fazio said, describing the program as a test. There may be other areas where similar situations exist, he said, but they have not yet been identified.
He also said this effort does not represent a move to merge factories producing the two brands. "This is not consolidation," Fazio said.
Simmons and Serta both have national networks of bedding factories.
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