Mattress maker names CEO

Tempur-Pedic International named Mark Sarvary, a former head of Campbell Soup's North America division, as its chief executive officer and president on Monday.

The Lexington-based mattress and pillow maker said Sarvary will work with CEO H. Thomas Bryant until his retirement on Aug. 4 to ensure a smooth transition. Bryant will continue to serve on the company's board.

In a news release, Tempur-Pedic Chairman P. Andrews McLane called Sarvary ”exceptionally well-qualified“ and said he has the ”ability and experience to lead Tempur-Pedic beyond the $1 billion sales level into its next phase of growth and development.“

Sarvary is a partner with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, having joined the firm after years at Campbell Soup, J. Crew Group and Nestlé.

During his career, he has headed the Campbell's Pepperidge Farm division, J. Crew Group and the Stouffer's Frozen Food division of Nestlé, Tempur-Pedic said in a news release.

”Mr. Sarvary has brand experience, and I think that that fits in well with Tempur-Pedic, as they are a leading brand in the bedding space,“ said Robert Straus, who follows the company as managing director at Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. ”I think the key will be to continue to carry out Tempur-Pedic's strategy of expanding its distribution on a global scale in the specialty bedding segment, which is driving the fastest growth in the entire industry.“

Specialty bedding includes technologies like memory foam and latex, as opposed to the traditional bedding offerings of mattresses based on spring coils.

The company is in the midst of an earnings slump. Earnings announced in April were down about half from the same period a year earlier because of a sudden, deep slump in sales attributed to flagging consumer confidence in the U.S. economy.

The company is implementing a plan in response that includes a new advertising campaign, a 10 percent cut in its U.S. work force, except for sales and research, and a reduction in production to shrink inventories.