UPDATE: May 28, 2019: Mattress Firm’s new chief executive, John Eck, started work on Monday as president and CEO. Eck, who was previously an executive at Hispanic media company Univision and most recently a senior advisor for media and emerging technology platforms at Rockdale Partners, has experience in finance, technology and, perhaps most crucially, operational overhaul. In a statement last week, Eck said the company "has incredible brand equity, a strong network of stores and distribution centers and tremendous potential."
Steve Stagner on Wednesday resigned as Mattress Firm's executive chairman, president and CEO, according to a company press release. Stagner started his career with Mattress Firm after owning and operating the largest franchise in the company's network. He joined the corporate office in 2005.
Stagner worked with Mattress Firm for 23 years, previously serving as the CEO from 2010 to 2016, and oversaw the company's 2011 initial public offering. He resumed the CEO position again in March 2018.
The company's board of directors launched an executive search for a new CEO and stated that it will "work closely with the senior management team to execute a strategy for operational growth" in the interim, per the release.
The resignation of Stagner comes a little over a year after taking on the role, after then-CEO Ken Murphy exited the position following what the company called a joint decision by Murphy and the board of directors.
Mattress Firm has had a dramatic trajectory since that time — the company filed Chapter 11 last October and then exited bankruptcy nearly a month after filing with a lighter store footprint after closing approximately 700 locations.
The company currently has over 2,500 stores in 49 states, but faces increasing competition from DTC companies including Casper, which reached unicorn status in March. Amazon also released a private label mattress last year with the AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress, followed by a product offering through its Rivet brand.
"Steve's leadership has been critical through this period where we needed to return the business to positive momentum," the Mattress Firm board said in a statement. "The Board is pleased with the speed of sales recapture, profitability and liquidity improvement to date. Mattress Firm is in a strong go-forward position as we look to the next chapter."