14116 Tue, 03/25/2008 - 11:30am
HILTON HEAD, S.C.–Grant Simmons Jr., former chief executive officer of Simmons, has died, according to a spokeswoman for the company. He was 88.
Simmons was the fourth and last generation of the founding family to head the company. He joined the company in 1946 and took the reigns of the firm in 1957, succeeding his father, Grant Simmons Sr. During his tenure, the company became the first to introduce queen- and king-sized mattresses. The company also founded the National Technological Center in Muncie, Ind., an engineering laboratory committed to developing products that would help consumers get a better night’s sleep.
Simmons also led the company’s relocation of its headquarters from New York to Atlanta in 1975. He resigned as head of the company in 1978.
The company was founded by Simmons’ great-grandfather, Zalmon Simmons, in 1870.