Serta’s Sherman Leaves; Fazio Named to Oversee Both Serta and Simmons

Bob Sherman

Bob Sherman

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.-Bob Sherman, who served as CEO of National Bedding Co., parent of the Serta mattress brand, for 25 years, has left the company to pursue other interests, effective yesterday.

Gary Fazio, CEO of Simmons, has been named CEO of the combined Serta Simmons Holdings. Fazio will now oversee the business for both mattress brands. According to a company statement, the two businesses will maintain separate product-development, marketing and sales divisions.

Along with Sherman, Barbara Bradford, Serta’s senior vice president of marketing and merchandising, and Sherman’s wife, has also stepped down from her role to pursue other interests.

Gary Fazio

Gary Fazio

The statement credited Sherman for driving “a combination of groundbreaking product innovation, strong customer relationships and operational excellence” during his tenure as the brand’s chief executive. Among his accomplishments was the “Counting Sheep” campaign, which was named Advertising Icon of the Year in 2008, and the iComfort product line. The latter, the statement said, was the fastest brand to reach $1 billion in retail sales.

Describing Sherman as “a true leader in the mattress industry,” David Swift, chairman of Serta Simmons, added, “On his path to building the leading brand in the mattress business, he also delivered one of the most successful product launches and some of the most successful marketing campaigns in history.”

Bradford was also credited for playing a crucial role in the development of the iComfort line. She also was responsible for developing Serta’s branded collections, including Trump Home.

Fazio became CEO of Simmons in 2010, after the company was restructured and acquired by Ares Management and Teachers’ Private Capital, Serta’s co-owners. Prior to joining Simmons, he was chairman of Mattress Firm, the specialty retailer.