TRINITY, N.C.–David McIlquham has resigned as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sealy, the nation’s number-one mattress manufacturer. Larry Rogers, president of Sealy North America, has assumed the post of interim CEO.
Sealy said it has begun a search for a permanent CEO.
McIlquham’s resignation came one week after Sealy said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expected its first-quarter sales to drop significantly. In particular, the company’s February sales were off sharply from expectations. Sealy’s stock price stood this morning at $8.16 per share, nearly $10 below its 52-week high of $18.13 per share, which it reached last April.
A Sealy statement said McIlquham, “along with the board of directors, has determined that it is in the best interest of the company to seek new leadership to achieve the company’s long-term goals and initiatives.” The statement added that McIlquham “will pursue new opportunities and spend more time with his family.”
McIlquham, who joined Sealy in 1990, became president in February 2001 and CEO in April 2002. He was elected chairman in April 2004. Rogers has been with Sealy since 1979 and was named president of the North America operation in December 2006. He has also served as president of Sealy of Canada and Sealy International.
Meanwhile, Paul Norris, a director and non-executive chairman of W.R. Grace & Co., has become non-executive chairman of the board. Norris is also a senior adviser at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Sealy’s largest shareholder.
Keith Hughes, analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphreys, said Sealy’s financial performance has been disappointing ever since it went public in 2006. “The bottom line has been struggling since the IPO,” Hughes said. “Sealy has been a volatile stock, and private-equity firms like KKR don’t like that kind of volatility.”