Serta Simmons Bedding Announces Leadership Transition

Industry Veteran Charlie Eitel Appointed Chief Executive Officer

Seasoned Marketing Leader Tim Oakhill Named Chief Marketing Officer

Established Private Equity Investor Mark Genender to be Named Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Former Stanley Black & Decker CEO James M. Loree Has Joined Board

DORAVILLE, Ga., – July 25, 2023 – Serta Simmons Bedding, Inc. (SSB), a leading global sleep company, today announced that Charlie Eitel, current Board member and former Chairman and CEO of Simmons Bedding, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Tim Oakhill, former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Simmons Bedding, has been appointed CMO, both effective immediately. Eitel succeeds Shelley Huff and Oakhill succeeds Guy Longworth, who are both departing the company. In addition, SSB announced today that the Board intends to name Mark Genender as Executive Chairman of the Board, and that James M. Loree, the former President and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, has been appointed to the Board.

“SSB has a strong foundation built on the company’s deep heritage in innovation and portfolio of leading brands,” said Genender. “To regain market leadership, our new Board believes we must build on that legacy by continuing to innovate and invest in our brands, enhancing retail partner relationships and providing industry leading quality and service. Charlie is an experienced industry leader with deep retailer and supplier relationships and an appreciation for the competitive environment, while Tim is a seasoned marketer with extensive experience building brands and driving product development in the bedding industry. The Board is confident that Charlie and Tim, in addition to the existing senior team, are the right leaders to position SSB for the future.”

“We thank Shelley for leading SSB through its restructuring and positioning the company for its next phase of growth. We wish her well in her future endeavors,” Genender added.

“It is a privilege to join Serta Simmons Bedding during this important moment at the company,” said Eitel. “We have a clear vision of how to strengthen our market position. I look forward to working with the rest of the Board and leadership team at SSB to execute our strategy and deliver the innovative sleep products for which retailers and consumers have always trusted us.”

Eitel and Oakhill join the company’s experienced leadership team including:

  • John Linker, Chief Financial and Operations Officer;
  • Dominick Azevedo, Chief Sales Officer;
  • Kristen McGuffey, Chief Legal Officer;
  • Esther Ni, Chief Human Resources Officer;
  • Heather Decker, Chief Strategy Officer; and
  • Brian Dengler, Chief Innovation Officer.

Loree brings extensive experience to the Board driving operational excellence and business transformation and will play an important role helping the company continue to evolve. In addition to Eitel, Genender and Loree, SSB’s Board is comprised of business leaders with relevant experience in manufacturing, consumer durables and retail, including Jim Fogarty (CEO, FULLBEAUTY Brands), Alan Shaw (Former President and CEO, North America, Electrolux) and Brandi Thomas (Group Vice President and Chief Audit Executive, General Electric).

About Charlie Eitel

Charlie Eitel previously served as CEO of Simmons Bedding from 2000 to 2008 during which time Simmons experienced unprecedented growth and established its position as a global sleep solutions pioneer. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Simmons Bedding Board from 2008 to 2010. More recently, Eitel served on the Boards of both Mattress Firm and City Mattress, a leading retail innovator. He also previously served as Chairman and CEO of WS Packaging Group. Eitel received a B.S. from Oklahoma State University.

About Tim Oakhill

Tim Oakhill previously held various marketing roles including Chief Marketing Officer at Simmons Bedding. In these roles, Oakhill drove significant growth of the product and brand platforms that built on the company’s legacy. More recently, he founded one of the industry’s first direct-to-consumer brands, Yogabed. He served as Worldwide Chief Marketing Strategist for IBM and as EVP at Mattress Firm. Oakhill received an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, and a B.S. and B.A. from the University of South Carolina.

About Mark Genender

Mark Genender is currently a Managing Partner at Bristol Growth Capital, LLC, a growth and early-stage investor in the consumer/retail and media and technology sectors. Genender previously served in senior investment roles at Eldridge Industries and in the same role at the predecessor entity to Eldridge Industries, Guggenheim Partners. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Genender was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Red Mountain Capital, co-founded Star Avenue Capital, a consumer growth equity vehicle, and served as a Managing Director/Partner at Fenway Partners. While at Fenway Partners, Genender served as a Director on the Simmons Bedding Board. Genender received his A.B. from Princeton University and received his M.B.A. from INSEAD.

About James M. Loree

James M. Loree is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Prior to serving as Stanley Black & Decker’s CEO, he served as its Chief Operating Officer. Before that, he served as Chief Financial Officer of The Stanley Works prior to its merger with Black & Decker. Earlier in his career, Loree served in various operating and fiscal management positions of increasing responsibility at General Electric Company. Loree holds a bachelor’s degree from Union College, where he serves as a trustee. Loree currently also serves on the Board of The Whirlpool Corporation where he has served since 2017.

About Serta Simmons Bedding

Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) is one of the leading global sleep companies. With a 150-year heritage in delivering industry-leading sleep solutions and a mission to help people sleep better so they can live healthier lives, the company is headquartered in Doraville, GA, and owns top brands such as Serta®, which has five other independent licensees, Beautyrest®, Tuft & Needle® and Simmons®. For more information about SSB and its brands, visit


Danit Marquardt
Serta Simmons Bedding

Ed Trissel / Aaron Palash
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher

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