The board of directors of High Point, North Carolina-based Culp Inc. has elected Robert G. “Iv” Culp IV chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1. Currently, he is president and chief operating officer. He will succeed Frank Saxon, currently board chair and CEO, who will assume the new role of executive chair.
The changes are a part of the company’s longstanding succession planning process designed to provide continuity and a natural leadership evolution as Culp Inc. continues to execute its growth strategy, a news release said.
Iv Culp joined the company in 1998 and has been a member of the senior leadership team for more than 15 years. He served as president of the mattress fabric division Culp Home Fashions since 2004. He was named chief operating officer in 2018 and president in 2019.
Saxon joined Culp Inc. in 1983 and has been a member of the board since 1987. He has served in various capacities, including chief financial officer from 1985 to 1998 and president of Culp Velvets/Prints division from 1998 to 2004. Saxon was named president and COO in 2004, and he became president and CEO in 2007. He was elected board chair in 2019.
Iv Culp will assume Saxon’s responsibilities for oversight of the company’s divisions. Sandy Brown and Boyd Chumbley, long-tenured leaders in the Culp Home Fashions and Culp Upholstery Fabrics divisions, respectively, and Paul Saunders, chief executive officer of eLuxury, which operates under the Culp Home Accessories division, will report to Culp in his new role.
Saxon will remain actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the company with specific responsibility for all corporate shared services, including finance, human resources and information technology.
“We are very pleased to announce this planned transition for the executive leadership of Culp, which is consistent with our corporate strategic plan,” Saxon said. “Iv Culp is a proven leader and brings the right complement of operational experience and strategic insight to this position. Having worked with him for over 20 years, I am confident he is well prepared and has the vision, skills, experience, and leadership capabilities necessary to be our chief executive officer.
“Iv is well respected throughout our company and our industry, and he has earned the trust of our valued customers. I look forward to our continued working relationship as we transition to our new leadership positions. Together, we will work to enhance Culp’s strong competitive position as a leading provider of fabrics and products for the home furnishings industry.”
On behalf of the board of directors, Ken McAllister, lead director, said, “We are delighted that Iv will be Culp’s next chief executive officer. As part of the board’s ongoing focus on executive succession planning, Frank and, prior to his death, Rob Culp, the company’s co-founder and former chairman, worked closely with the board over a period of years to plan this transition. We are highly confident Iv is the right leader to build on Culp’s proud history, and we look forward to working with him as chief executive officer. At the same time, we thank and recognize Frank for his incredible leadership and stewardship as chief executive officer and are excited that we will continue to benefit from his experience in his active role as executive chairman.”
Commenting on his new role, Iv Culp said, “It is an honor to assume this new leadership role with Culp. I am especially proud to carry on the legacy of my father and grandfather who founded and built a company known for innovation and an unwavering commitment to both our customers and shareholders. Going forward, we will continue to pursue a strategy that reflects these same important values. Frank Saxon has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of Culp, and he will continue to serve as an important mentor and leader.
“I am fortunate to have the support of tremendously strong and experienced divisional leaders in Sandy Brown and Boyd Chumbley, together with Paul Saunders at eLuxury. I am also thankful for the support of our experienced and energetic board of directors, as well as our talented, deep and dedicated management team, both at the executive level and throughout each operating segment. We are confident we have the right people in place to pursue our growth strategy and create additional long-term value for our shareholders, employees, and customers.”
Culp Inc. is a major producer of mattress fabrics for bedding and upholstery fabrics for residential and commercial furniture. The company markets a variety of fabrics to its global customer base of leading bedding and furniture companies, including fabrics produced at Culp’s manufacturing facilities and fabrics sourced through other suppliers. Culp has operations in the United States, Canada, China and Haiti.