After 31 years at the helm of bedding manufacturer Kingsdown, Inc., Chairman and CEO W. Eric Hinshaw announced his retirement, handing the reigns over to the company’s current President Frank Hood who adds the title of chief executive officer.
Hinshaw, 62, joined Kingsdown in February, 1976 after a brief career in public accounting. Five years later he was elevated to the post of chief executive officer. During his time with the company, he and his management team are credited with transforming Kingsdown from a regional manufacturer into one of the world’s largest sleep products companies with global sales in more than 21 countries. He is also the former chairman of the International Sleep Products Association and received its Exceptional Service Award in 2000.
Hinshaw and his management team achieved those results by developing a better sleep through science platform that changed the way consumers and retailers talked about sleep product purchases. Today, Kingsdown products are positioned to help people get a better night’s sleep and contribute to better health and performance. More than 7 million consumers have gone through the company’s unique bedMatch™ diagnostic system that helps them find the right mattress and pillow for their body type.
At the time he was appointed chief executive officer at the age of 31, Hinshaw was one of the youngest leaders of a mattress company. Now 31 years later, he has been one of the longest serving chief executives in the industry.
Hinshaw said that after spending half his life with the hectic schedule of a global chief executive, he looked forward to being able to spend more time with his family and on charitable causes of which he has been prominently associated.
Hood, who has been working in a transition phase with Hinshaw and the rest of the management team over the last several months, assumes his new responsibilities immediately. Hinshaw will remain an advisor to the company and remains one of its largest minority shareholders.
“We are grateful to Eric for his visionary leadership of our company for more than three decades. We understand his desire to open a new chapter in his life and spending time with family and working on causes that are near and dear to his heart,” said Hood. “I appreciate the opportunity that the board has given me and the confidence that they have in our leadership team. We have an amazing roster of bedding industry talent with Kevin Damewood heading sales, Joe Schmoeller leading operations and Lee Hinshaw heading our international group. Each has many other industry veterans on their respective teams.
“This is an exciting new chapter for our people and our customers. We will continue to invest in innovation, design and diagnostic technology to deliver the most cutting edge products for all of our retailers,” he added. “Also, with five manufacturing facilities around the country, we will continue to expand our strong delivery system to service our client base.”
“I have never forgotten that we are in a business where consumers have entrusted their health and wellness to us by purchasing our products. That responsibility has driven us to constantly enhance our product offerings and get better at what we do,” said Hinshaw. “We have accomplished so much and I am confident Frank and his leadership team will deliver more great achievements for our company in the future.”
Since joining Kingsdown in 2008, Hood has served in a number of senior positions at the company, including: chief information officer, president of the Sleep to Live Institute which licenses bedMatch™ technology and has overseen marketing efforts. In February of this year, he was named president of the company and assumed responsibility for the day-to-day operations.
Hood, 46, has extensive consumer products company experience, serving as a senior vice president of Quiznos and prior to that post, senior vice president of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.
“Since the start of the year, we have taken many steps to improve our business, resulting in a strong first half. In particular, I am proud of our people who have been so focused on improving quality and adding depth to our product innovation. There are many exciting things on the horizon for this 108-year-old company. We are very enthusiastic about its continued growth and future,” said Hood.
For more information, visit www.kingsdown.com.
About Kingsdown, Inc: Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Mebane, North Carolina, Kingsdown is a manufacturer of premium mattress systems serving leading retailers across the United States and in more than 20 countries. Each product is manufactured using handcrafted techniques combined with state‐of‐the‐art research, materials and equipment. Research and development, training and distribution facilities, as well as two manufacturing facilities, are also headquartered in Mebane.