Mattress Firm names former television, GE exec as CEO

The nation’s largest mattress retailer tapped a former Univision and NBCUniversal executive as its chief executive.

Mattress Firm has appointed John Eck as president and CEO, effective May 28. He replaces longtime CEO Steve Stagner, a 23-year Mattress Firm veteran, who resigned in April, five months after the chain emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Eck most recently was a senior advisor and consultant for media and emerging technology platforms at Rockdale Partners. Previously, he was at Univision Communications Inc., where he served as chief local media officer, responsible for the company’s 120 TV and radio stations and related digital properties.

Eck spent 28 years at GE in lighting, aviation, financial services and media, where he had a variety of leadership roles in finance, Six Sigma, and operations and technology. Additionally, Eck was appointed an officer of GE in 2004 and led the integration of NBC and Universal from due diligence to operational and cultural alignment. Eck was later named president, NBC television network and president, MediaWorks.

“This is the perfect time for John Eck to join Mattress Firm,” said a representative of the Mattress Firm board. “We have a great opportunity to build on the strong foundation and momentum of a successful turnaround with focus on several high-priority initiatives. He [Eck[ is a transformational leader who has a unique ability to navigate highly dynamic industries and unite teams around a common vision that modernizes the company. The board is confident in John’s ability to set a strategic roadmap and execute against it.”

Mattress Firm, which is owned by Steinhoff International Holdings N.V., filed for Chapter 11 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.