Heritage Home announces reorganization
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, January 21, 2014
ST LOUIS — Heritage Home Group has announced a reorganization that is expected to result in some layoffs and also create a new management structure for the company and its iconic brands.
Heritage Home was created in November after parent company KPS Capital Partners acquired the assets of Furniture Brands International in bankruptcy court. These brands include Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Pearson, Maitland-Smith, Lane Venture and La Barge.
Company officials declined to provide details about the layoffs and wouldn't say how many people will be affected. However, the company did send a separate letter to employees today that said it plans to close Plant C and related support facilities in Thomasville, N.C., effective March 21.
"Unfortunately, this permanent closure will mean the end of all operations and all employees at these locations will be discharged," Heritage Home Group, President and CEO Ira Glazer said in the Jan. 21 letter.
Glazer said reductions are unfortunately a "necessary element of our ongoing efforts to create a highly competitive organizational structure." He added that the number of jobs being saved through the formation of Heritage Home exceeds the number of people being let go.
The company said that the new structure will no longer have brand presidents. Instead, it has created a merchandising group that directs product development across all brands.
The new merchandising group, Glazer told employees, will make sure the company has the "best assortment of products - not the biggest assortment of products - across all of our brands to satisfy the needs of our customers."
The company has named Paul Peters to serve in the newly created position of senior vice president of merchandising, a role that will lead the new merchandising group and coordinate merchandising across all brands. Peters was most recently vice president of merchandising of Furniture Brands' wholesale group and also was a former vice president of upholstery at Broyhill.
It also has named former Broyhill president Mark Stephens to the newly created position of senior vice president of wholesale sales for Lane, Thomasville, and Broyhill.
As previously announced, former Lane Venture president Gary McCray will be senior vice president sales designer responsible for Hickory Chair, Henredon, Drexel, Lane Venture, Maitland-Smith, Pearson and LaBarge.
The company said that Ray Johnson will continue as chief operating officer and lead the operations group. This group is being reorganized into functional teams that will support brand sales management.
Kathy Veltri, formerly president of Thomasville, is now senior vice president of retail.
According to an organizational chart released by the company, these executives report to Glazer.
"This reorganization, which is now in its first phase, will make Heritage Home Group a strong company prepared for the future, but will be difficult, as change always is," Glazer said in a Jan. 20 letter to employees. "There will be some disruption, as every part of the company and every person will be impacted in some way. But we will work through these changes together, and the new senior management is prepared to address issues that will inevitably arise and keep us moving forward. At the same time, we also have the goal of making Heritage Home Group a place to work where employees are empowered to achieve success and fulfilled by their accomplishments."
The two core objectives, he said, are to be profitable and operate Heritage Home as one company.
"The process that begins today really can only end one way: with Heritage Home Group positioned as the leader in the furniture business, competing with anyone in our industry. The ride will be bumpy, so hang on- the success we achieve working together will be worth it!"
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