Fazio Takes the Helm at Simmons

Gary Fazio

Gary Fazio

ATLANTA–Simmons has put Gary Fazio, previously chairman of Mattress Firm, in charge as its chief executive officer.

Fazio officially begins his new post today. He is succeeding Steve Fendrich, president and chief operating officer, who is leaving Simmons. The hiring of Fazio is the first major move by Ares Capital Management and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which closed their acquisition of Simmons in January.

The two parent companies are also the owners of Serta.

After a 20-year career with Sealy, Fazio joined Mattress Firm in 2001 as president and CEO, and built the firm from a regional specialty retailer into a national operation with more than 500 locations in 38 states. He was named chairman of the company earlier this year.

Fendrich, who joined Simmons in 2005, was named president and chief operating officer in 2008. He guided the company through the restructuring of its finances, which culminated in the acquisition by Ares Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.