Essendant (ESND) Plans Organizational Changes to Improve Focus on Key Customer Channels; COO Tim Connolly to Leave

August 16, 2016 5:02 PM EDT

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(Updated - August 16, 2016 5:03 PM EDT)

(Update corrects headline)

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ: ESND) today announced organizational changes to adapt to the changing marketplace and improve focus on key customer channels by flattening the company's overall structure and better aligning accountabilities across the organization to improve execution.

The business will be organized around its two primary customer channels: Business & Facility Essentials and Industrial Essentials. Harry Dochelli will serve as President of Business & Facility Essentials. Mr. Dochelli has been with Essendant for four years and most recently led the Sales and Care teams. Ric Phillips will serve as Group President of Industrial Essentials. In this new role, Mr. Phillips will continue as President of ORS Nasco and add oversight of MEDCO Automotive and CPO. Mr. Phillips joined Essendant in 2012 to help expand the company's sales in new channels before assuming leadership of ORS. Mr. Dochelli and Mr. Phillips will report to Bob Aiken, Essendant's Chief Executive Officer.

Essendant also announced that Tim Connolly, COO, will be leaving the company, effective September 2, 2016 to pursue other opportunities. As part of the organizational changes, Essendant will not seek a replacement in the COO role.

Speaking about the changes, Mr. Aiken said, "Harry and Ric have demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities, and I am confident that their experience and guidance will be instrumental in driving Essendant's future success. These changes will bring us closer to our customers and better align our business to our primary customer channels. Importantly, our new structure will better position us to drive future growth, improve execution and deliver shareholder value."

Mr. Aiken continued, "Tim Connolly made many outstanding contributions to our company during his tenure. We thank him and wish him the very best in the future."

Consistent with its plans to drive merchandising excellence, Essendant also announced that Keith Dougherty will join the company as Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Inventory & Pricing. Mr. Dougherty joins from US Foods where he spent the past 15 years, most recently as Senior Vice President of Category Management, Pricing and National Sales.

"I am delighted to welcome Keith to our team," Mr. Aiken said. "He is a proven leader with deep merchandising experience, and I am confident that, through his efforts, we will better align with our suppliers to serve our customers while delivering value to our shareholders."

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