Serta Simmons Bedding CEO Gary Fazio to Retire


Gary Fazio

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC (SSB) announced today that Chief Executive Officer Gary Fazio will be retiring from the company at the end of the year, following a successful 44-year career in the bedding industry. His last day as CEO will be December 31, 2015.

Mr. Fazio became the CEO of SSB in October 2013, leading the company in its position as the largest bedding producer in the world. Prior to the creation of SSB, in his role as CEO of Simmons Bedding Company, he helped the company increase sales and market share, led a significant rebranding and advertising effort, and implemented an expansion of its product lines. His expansive career in the bedding industry includes leadership roles in both manufacturing and retail sales having served as CEO and Chairman of the Mattress Firm for nearly a decade and at Sealy, Inc. for more than 20 years.

“I have enjoyed a very gratifying career in the bedding industry, especially these last few years of transformational change at SSB, which today is an innovative company poised to bring its two iconic brands, Serta and Simmons, to even greater success,” said Mr. Fazio. “I am deeply grateful to my colleagues, the Board, our employees, customers and partners for the opportunity to lead the company, and now I am looking forward to taking full advantage of my retirement.”

The Board of Directors intends to name National Bedding Company (d/b/a Serta International) President Michael Traub as CEO of SSB, effective January 1, 2016. In order to facilitate an orderly transition until then, Mr. Traub has been appointed to the newly-created position of President of SSB, effective today.

SSB also announced today that Simmons Bedding Company President Tony Smith has been named to the newly-created role of President of Sales for SSB, also effective today.

In Mr. Traub’s interim role as SSB President, he will oversee the sales function as well as the Serta and Simmons brand marketing and product development functions, domestically and internationally. In Mr. Smith’s new role as SSB President of Sales, he will provide leadership and strategic direction to both the National Bedding and Simmons sales organizations.

“Together with the Board, I am confident in Michael’s ability to take the helm of the company at the start of next year,” said Mr. Fazio. “He is a skilled executive who has demonstrated his leadership and operational capabilities across a range of functions and his consumer product expertise will be an asset to the company.”

Commenting on Mr. Smith’s appointment, Mr. Fazio said, “In the new role of President of Sales, Tony’s 32 years of sales and marketing leadership experience will be invaluable to the Serta and Simmons brands as we seek to maximize the ways in which we service our customers more strategically and holistically.”

“I want to personally thank Gary for his years of leadership as well as his confidence in Tony and me to continue implementing the vision for our brands,” said Mr. Traub. “Today, the Serta and Simmons brands are undisputed category leaders, and our customers and employees have benefitted tremendously from Gary’s hard work, leadership, and clear thinking, which we will make full use of over the next six months as we transition our roles.”

“Having worked with Gary for many years, I find his confidence in me to lead the SSB sales effort very meaningful,” said Mr. Smith. “The Serta and Simmons brands have long been focused on innovation, and the creation of this new position is another key step in our efforts to maximize resources and service our customers more effectively, strategically and efficiently.”

The headquarters of both National Bedding and Simmons will remain in their current locations in Hoffman Estates, Illinoisand Atlanta, Georgia, respectively. Serta and Simmons will continue to operate as separate brand units. Effective July 21st, the units will be led by the marketing leaders of each brand - Senior Vice President Andrew Gross of Serta and Executive Vice President Jeff Willard of Simmons.

About Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC

Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC (“SSB”) owns and manages two of the largest bedding brands in the mattress industry – National Bedding Company L.L.C. (the largest licensee and majority shareholder of Serta, Inc.) and Simmons Bedding Company, LLC. SSB is based in Atlanta and operates 33 manufacturing plants in the United States, five in Canada and one in Puerto Rico. Its subsidiary, National Bedding Company L.L.C., is based in suburban Chicago and markets a broad range of products under the Serta® brand, including Perfect Sleeper®, iComfort®, iSeries®, Sertapedic® and a portfolio of licensed products. In addition to National Bedding Company L.L.C., Serta, Inc. has five other independent licensees in the United States and one in Canada that manufacture and market Serta-branded products. SSB’s other subsidiary, Simmons Bedding Company, LLC, is based in Atlanta and markets a broad range of products including Beautyrest®, Beautyrest Black® and BeautySleep®. Both companies also serve as key suppliers of beds to many of the world's leading hotel groups and resort properties.

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