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Monday, 02 March 2015 17:35

Herman Miller changes up executive team with trio of promotions

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Herman Miller Inc. today made a trio of executive promotions.

In the biggest move, the Zeeland-based office furniture maker promoted Chief Financial Officer Greg Bylsma to chief operating officer for the North American division. Bylsma, who’s been with Herman Miller since 2009, succeeds Curt Pullen, who has decided to leave the company.

Herman Miller spokesman Mark Schurman said his departure was mutually agreed upon with the board of directors.

“Curt’s been an important leader and invaluable colleague within Herman Miller for many years, and the company is grateful for his service,” Schurman said.

Herman Miller also promoted Malisa Bryant from vice president of North American sales to senior vice president of sales and distribution for Herman Miller North America, reporting directly to President and CEO Brian Walker. Jeff Stutz, chief accounting officer and treasurer at Herman Miller, was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer, succeeding Bylsma.

Herman Miller announced the moves late this afternoon as it also estimated sales growth for the most recent quarter in the range of 12.5 percent to 13.6 percent or $513 million to $518 million. A good portion of the sales growth is expected to come from last summer’s acquisition of Design Within Reach Inc.

The company expects a lesser growth rate in new orders, 7.1 percent to 8.2 percent, for the third quarter of its 2015 fiscal year.

“During the third quarter, we saw continued momentum in our Specialty and Consumer segments, both of which reported year-on-year growth in both sales and orders. We also continued to see organic growth from our ELA segment, adjusted for the significant headwind from the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies,” Walker said. “However, the relative weakness in order pacing of our North American contract business that we reported last quarter continued in the third quarter. In addition to actions announced last quarter to increase selling capacity and accelerate the completion of new product introductions, we have taken further decisive steps to reinvigorate our North American sales leadership and increase our focus on closing deals, particularly in the area of small and medium-size projects.”

The executive changes and the sales estimates come just prior to Herman Miller presenting Wednesday at an investor conference sponsored by at the Raymond James. Herman Miller expects to report third quarter 2015 net sales between $513 million and $518 million.

The company releases final quarterly sales and earnings figures March 19.

Herman Miller expects sales of $530 million to $560 million in the present fourth quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, and sales of $2.11 billion to $2.15 billion for the full fiscal year, including revenue from the Design Within Reach acquisition.

“Given the project-nature of our business, it will take time to fully realize the benefits of the actions we have taken,” Walker said. “With that said, we are resolute that these steps will accelerate order growth in our North American contract business. The fundamentals of our business are strong and we are focused on our strategy to drive long-term growth, profitability and shareholder value.”

Read 3991 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:35

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