DUBUQUE, Iowa — Flexsteel Industrie announced that Jerald (Jerry) K. Dittmer has been named the company’s president and chief executive officer effective Dec. 28. Dittmer, an accomplished leader in the office furniture industry, is a veteran of HNI Corporation, a publicly traded company and leading global office furniture manufacturer.
“After conducting a thorough search and interviewing many qualified candidates, Jerry Dittmer was the clear and unanimous choice of our Board of Directors to become the eighth corporate president in Flexsteel’s 125-year history”
“I am honored to join an organization that has a long history of product innovation and customer service,” said Dittmer. “I am excited about the prospects for growth within the furniture industry and am confident that Flexsteel is well positioned for continued growth and shareholder value by exceeding our customer’s expectations with a quality product.”
Dittmer will be appointed to the Board of Directors effective December 28, 2018.
Dittmer comes to Flexsteel with more than 25 years of experience in the furniture industry including leadership positions with HNI Corporation and its subsidiaries. Most recently he served as President of the HON Company, a large office furniture designer and manufacturer. Appointed president of HON Company in 2008, Dittmer successfully positioned the $1+ billion business to weather the recession and grew Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) and gross margins to greater than pre-recession levels by realigning the manufacturing footprint and transforming go-to-market capabilities resulting in significant profitable sales growth in a three-year period.
Dittmer also proactively recognized the changing market dynamics within the industry and led HON’s e-commerce initiatives from infancy to a significant revenue and profit contributor. Additionally, he led a strategic acquisition that enabled next day shipping of value-priced seating and simple furniture solutions while developing an expansive offering of unique on-trend products to the market through e-tailers, independent dealers and national supply dealers resulting in significant growth.
Prior to his assignment as President of the HON Company, Dittmer served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for HNI. As the CFO, Dittmer held full responsibility for the company’s domestic and international finance, accounting, treasury, tax, shared services enterprise risk management, internal audit, IT, procurement, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and strategic planning. During his tenure as CFO, HNI moved to ranking second in the office furniture industry from fifth place.
Prior to being named CFO in 2001, Dittmer held multiple executive roles within HNI and HON including Group Vice President, Seating and Wood Products; General Manager, Oak Steel, Chief Information Officer, HNI Corporation; Controller, Gunlocke Company and MAXON; and Assistant Corporate Controller and Director, Internal Audit, HNI. Before joining HNI in 2001, Dittmer, who earned his BS at Iowa State University, held positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Crown Zellerbach, HAVI Corporation and Arthur Andersen.
The Flexsteel Board retained Allegis Partners and ghSMART & Co. to assist in identifying and evaluating potential candidates
SOURCE: Flexsteel Industries press release