Simmons names Fazio CEO

Atlanta–based Simmons Bedding Co. has named mattress industry veteran Gary Fazio chief executive officer. He takes the company’s helm from President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Fendrich, who is leaving the company.

“I am thrilled to be joining Simmons at a time when the company is enhancing its strong brand and product portfolio, as well as continuing to build on its long history of developing high–quality and innovative products,” Fazio said. “Our opportunities are broad, and I look forward to joining the leadership team of such a distinguished company.”

Fazio has nearly 40 years of experience in the industry, on both the manufacturing and retail sides. From 1981 to 2001, he held various positions at Sealy, eventually becoming vice president and general manager.

From 2001 to 2010, Fazio served as CEO of retail chain Mattress Firm and had been its chairman since February. Mattress Firm has some 560 stores in 22 states and is No. 15 on Furniture/Today’s Top 100 list of furniture and bedding retailers.

In a news release, Simmons thanked Fendrich for “five years of dedicated leadership and service to Simmons and guiding the company successfully through its restructuring.” Fendrich joined Simmons in 2005 and was promoted to president and COO in 2008.

Simmons, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, was acquired in January by the investment group that owns National Bedding Corp., the largest producer of Serta–brand mattresses.

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