Mattress Firm CEO and President Ken Murphy is stepping down from his position, with Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board Steve Stagner assuming chief executive responsibilities, effective March 1.
The joint decision “reflects the need for a singular voice of leadership for the company as it navigates the next phase of its growth story,” according to a company statement.
Mattress Firm is under heavy pressure from recent bedding disruptors such as Casper, Leesa, Tuft & Needle and Purple. These retailers have gained popularity in recent years as consumers have become more comfortable buying mattresses online. Additionally, these newer companies have arguably provided a more transparent fixed pricing model than traditional mattress retailers.
In December 2017, Mattress Firm confirmed it would be closing 200 stores and entered a new credit agreement that could secure the company as much as $225 million. By 2023, Mattress Firm aims to boost annual revenue to $4 billion and expand private label products to capture 40% of sales.
Mattress Firm is a subsidiary of South African retail giant Steinhoff International, which acquired the retailer for $3.8 billion in August 2016. Murphy’s resignation comes at a significant time, following admissions of accounting irregularities from Steinhoff, whose CEO resigned in December 2017.
Stagner, a 20-year veteran at Mattress Firm, previously served as CEO from February 2010 to March 2016 before passing the reins to Murphy. Stagner oversaw the company’s IPO in 2011.
Stagner previously worked with mattress manufacturers Sealy Corporation and Simmons Bedding Company, as well as owning and operating the largest franchise in the Mattress Firm network prior to joining the corporate office in 2005.