Over 150 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Michael Pitman named new CEO of Durham Furniture

Furniture World News on

The widely respected industry veteran Michael Pitman has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Durham Furniture, one of North America’s largest and leading producers of better quality solid wood bedroom furniture. He assumes his post on October 2, 2006 and succeeds Keith McSpurren, who has served as chief executive officer for the past 18 months. Mr. Pitman brings 25 years of industry-specific experience to his new position. Most recently, he served as Vice President/Division Sales for Schnadig Corporation. He has also held senior sales and marketing positions with Lexington Home Brands. “His primary focus has been on driving sales results for both of these significant case goods producers,” Mr. McSpurren said. “He possesses a strong understanding of the Canadian and U.S. markets coupled with a reputation for integrity and strategic thinking. He consistently demonstrates an ability to bring together all functional areas of the business (sales, marketing, product development, manufacturing, finance and human resources) to deliver superior results.” “This is an exciting time to join Durham in a leadership position and to continue growing the legacy of North America’s premier solid wood bedroom manufacturer,” Mr. Pitman said. “We will continue to provide our retail partners with fashion forward, high quality furniture of unparalleled value supported by manufacturing excellence, superior service and supply chain stability. These strengths aid them to profitably grow their businesses.” Mr. McSpurren will remain on Durham’s Board of Directors and return to playing a more active role with Flagstone Capital, the private equity fund he helped establish in 2001. The Toronto-based Flagstone also has an equity stake in Durham Furniture. Mr. McSpurren points out his mandate as CEO was to lead the transition of Durham Furniture from being the hard-driving entrepreneurial company it was during most of the 1990s into the mature, stable, growing business it is now becoming. “Although there are significant challenges ahead for all companies in our industry, Durham’s largest structural changes are behind us,” he said. “Now that the turnaround is complete, it’s time to execute the plan.” Over the past 18 months under Mr. McSpurren’s leadership, Durham has: Moved to a ‘lean’ manufacturing platform Assembled a new senior management team Improved the profitability of its retail partners by reducing their inventory Reduced delivery times on virtually all orders to six weeks Expanded its sales network significantly Negotiated new arrangements with its financial partners, and Launched a second brand called Orville & Mead “The last piece of the transition plan was to recruit a driven, open-minded leader with a significant track record in helping to build every business he has been involved in. We needed to find someone willing to make a long term commitment to Durham that matches the loyalty and dedication of our own employees, sales representatives and retail partners,” Mr. McSpurren said. “I firmly believe Michael Pitman is the best leader we could have chosen for Durham for the years ahead. He has the skills and the drive Durham needs to grow its business while maintaining a stable and ever improving working environment for all of our people,” he continued. “My expectation is our retail partners will see this as a sign of Durham’s increasing stability and growth prospects as we solidify our position as North America’s primary source of highly profitable, reliable solid wood bedroom furniture.”

Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers