C-SUITE

Mattress Firm CEO steps down

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest mattress retailer has lost its veteran leader less than five months after the chain emerged from bankruptcy.

Mattress Firm said it has accepted the resignation of executive chairman, president and CEO Steve Stagner. The company has begun the search for a new chief executive.

Stagner, a 23-year Mattress Firm veteran, began his career as the owner of the largest franchisee in the Mattress Firm network prior to joining the corporate office in 2005. He was named CEO in February 2010, and went on to oversee the company’s initial public offering in 2011, and rapid expansion via acquisitions during which time it tripled its store count. Stagner resigned as CEO In March 2016 but remained chairman. He was reappointed CEO in March 2018.

Mattress Firm, which is owned by Steinhoff International Holdings N.V., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2018. It emerged one month later, in November, with a plan that would leave it about 2,500 locations, down from approximately 3,500.

“We are celebrating Steve Stagner’s incredible 23-year contribution to building Mattress Firm into the number one specialty mattress retailer,” the Mattress Firm board said in a statement. “Steve’s leadership has been critical through this period where we needed to return the business to positive momentum. The Board is pleased with the speed of sales recapture, profitability and liquidity improvement to date. Mattress Firm is in a strong go-forward position as we look to the next chapter.”

Stagner said he was forward to spending more time with his family after a busy year “and will continue to root for Mattress Firm as they evolve and grow.”

“I believe now is the right time to leave Mattress Firm and make way for fresh leadership because I am confident in the Board’s expertise and strong business foundation,” he said.

Mattress Firm is America’s largest mattress specialty retailer, with more than 2,500 stores in 49 states.

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