Ken Murphy Named Mattress Firm CEO

Steve Stagner moves to executive chairman role
March 22, 2016David Gill

MurphyStagner3x2Left, Ken Murphy; right, Steve Stagner
HOUSTON-Ken Murphy, president of Mattress Firm, has also been named CEO of the national retail mattress chain.

Steve Stagner, the previous CEO, has become the company’s executive chairman. In his expanded role, Murphy now oversees all core functions of the company, including sales, marketing, merchandising, finance and operations. Stagner focuses on Mattress Firm’s strategic vision and the integration of Sleepy’s, the Northeast specialty mattress retailer that the company acquired in February.

The changes, which went to effect immediately, are part of a long-term succession plan for Mattress Firm and will allow for a better division of responsibilities for Stagner and Murphy, according to a company statement. Stagner characterized Murphy as “the right leader at this time in our company growth story, as we turn our focus from achieving our goal of becoming border to border and coast to coast with recent acquisitions, to continuing to grow through a relentless commitment to operational excellence.”

Murphy joined Mattress Firm in 1998 and has held a number of high level executive positions leading up to his appointment as president last year. The company statement credited him with increasing its focus on digital and omnichannel efforts, implementing employee-focused programs designed to encourage a highly performing and highly engaged culture, and community-centric activities intended to increase the retailer’s presence in the areas where its stores are located.

Mattress Firm also reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending on Feb. 2. Net income for the year jumped 45.8 percent to $64.5 million, the result largely of a net sales gain of 40.7 percent to $2.5 billion, and of a 110-basis-point drop in operating expenses, to 31.9 percent of net sales.

In the fourth quarter, net income rose 100.8 percent to $13.3 million, as net sales reached $618.5 million, up 3.4 percent. Mattress Firm was able to trim operating expenses by 140 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 31.9 percent.

The top line for the year benefited from the addition of 320 stores from the opening of new stores and acquired stores. In addition, same-store sales rose 2.1 percent for the year and 0.7 percent in the quarter.

David GillDavid Gill | Senior Editor

David Gill covers home textiles, small electrics housewares, personal-care products, cleaning products, mattresses, consumer electronics and major appliances. He also reports on retailers and writes about the business and financial side of both vendors and retailers. He has more than 30 years of experience in business journalism, and has worked for other publications and websites that cover consumer products from both the manufacturer and retailer sides. His outside interests include sports (he is a big fan of the New York teams and of British soccer), cooking, movies and theater. He occasionally enjoys a good cigar as well.


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