MONROE, MI — La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE: LZB) today announced a series of leadership changes, effective July 1, 2011:
• Mark Bacon (48) is promoted from Chief Retail Officer to Senior Vice President and President of the La-Z-Boy Branded Business, which includes wholesale and retail leadership responsibility for the company's largest business unit;
• Doug Collier (44), Chief Marketing Officer, is promoted to the additional role of President of International, where he will continue to be responsible for leading the corporation's international operations and growth efforts. Additionally, he will assume responsibility for the Information Technology function, providing executive oversight and direction throughout the entire corporation;
• Dave Layman (60) Senior Vice President of Residential Operations, will retire at the end of fiscal 2012, after more than 40 years with the company;
• Darrell Edwards (47) will succeed Dave Layman and is promoted from Vice President General Manager of La-Z-Boy, Tennessee to Vice President of Residential Manufacturing, where he will be responsible for the six La-Z-Boy branded manufacturing facilities, including the company's Mexico-based cut-and-sew facility;
• Dan King (54) is promoted from Director of Retail Sales and Operations to Vice President of La-Z-Boy's Retail Operations, where he will be responsible for the 83 company-owned La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores; and
• Harold McCawley (48) has been promoted from Production Manager to General Manager of La-Z-Boy Tennessee, the company's largest manufacturing plant.
Kurt Darrow, La-Z-Boy's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Succession planning has and will continue to play an integral role in the management of our company. It is an evolutionary process and these appointments have been in the planning stage for some time. With recent changes to the organizational structure and the announced retirement of Dave Layman, it is the appropriate time to make these moves to ensure our company has the correct leadership structure. Each of these individuals has demonstrated their dedication and commitment to our company, with proven results of their various operations."
Bacon joined La-Z-Boy Incorporated in 2008 as Chief Retail Officer. Under his leadership, the Retail Group's performance improved significantly as a result of new strategies employed for sales, merchandising and operations. A seasoned retail executive, Bacon developed his leadership expertise while holding senior positions at Pep Boys, Staples and Wal-Mart. In his new role, Bacon will be responsible for all operations, customer care, sales and merchandising of the La-Z-Boy branded business.
Collier originally joined La-Z-Boy in 2002 and became Chief Marketing Officer in 2004. In that role, he has been responsible for all the company's marketing strategies, including its most recent launch of the Live Life Comfortably campaign. In 2009, he assumed responsibility for all the company's international operations and partnerships, where the company has experienced double-digit sales growth for the past two years. Collier's expertise in branding and marketing, the international arena, interactive/digital marketing, IT and consumer insight were built throughout his years at Whirlpool, GE, Select Comfort and Iomega, a maker of computer hardware and software focused on data storage and management.
Layman began his career at La-Z-Boy's Neosho, Missouri facility in 1971 and rose through the ranks of the company, taking on positions of increasing responsibility. In 1997, Layman was promoted to Vice President of Manufacturing for La-Z-Boy's Residential Division, and in 1999 Layman was promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations, overseeing the manufacturing operations of all of the La-Z-Boy branded business.
Edwards joined La-Z-Boy in 2004 as General Manager of La-Z-Boy South and was named Vice President of La-Z-Boy South in 2005. In 2006, he became Vice President General Manager of La-Z-Boy Tennessee. Located in Dayton, the company has a 1.2 million square-foot facility, where it employs 1,500 people making it one of the largest furniture manufacturing facilities in North America. Edwards' expertise lies in organizational strategy and operational excellence through lean manufacturing initiatives and team building.
King, a seasoned retail executive, joined La-Z-Boy in 2008 and has been instrumental in the turnaround of the retail division and is well positioned to take on the additional responsibility within the segment as it becomes increasingly important to the company's integrated retail strategy. Prior to joining La-Z-Boy, King spent numerous years as Vice President of Sales and Operations for Pep Boys and Staples.
McCawley joined La-Z-Boy Tennessee in 1983. Over the course of nearly 30 years, he worked in various capacities, moving through the ranks of the organization. Most recently, he has been responsible for managing the production processes across the company's assembly operation at the Tennessee campus. McCawley is a knowledgeable and veteran manufacturing executive with expertise in lean manufacturing and production.
Darrow added, "I have had the distinct honor and pleasure to work with Dave Layman for many years. A consummate professional with talent and drive, he rose through the organization during his more than 40 years with the company. He has played an integral role in our strategy development process and the implementation of various lean manufacturing initiatives, most notably the company's conversion to cellular production across all of the La-Z-Boy branded facilities. He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to La-Z-Boy and we have benefitted from his leadership, insight and wisdom. He is greatly admired throughout our organization and he will be sorely missed. We wish Dave all the best in his retirement and he will remain a true friend to our company."
Darrow concluded, "Mark, Doug, Darrell, Dan and Harold comprise a talented team of senior people, all of whom have made a great contribution to our enterprise. They are charged with the responsibility to move La-Z-Boy Incorporated forward in the dynamic marketplace and I have every confidence they will usher our company into the future with a focus on profitable growth."
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.