Chromcraft CEO suddenly steps down

June 18, 2008
The chairman and CEO of unprofitable Chromcraft Revington Inc. will resign at the end of the month, the West Lafayette-based furniture maker announced late yesterday.

Benjamin Anderson-Ray and the company arrived at the decision together, Chromcraft said.

"At this time it is appropriate for me to step out of the leadership of the company to support the ongoing process," Anderson-Ray said in a statement.

Chromcraft has been struggling to restore profits at a time it and other furniture makers face rising competition from low-cost competitors in China and other developing nations. In the first quarter, losses widened to $2.2 million from $1.2 million a year earlier.

Last month, Chromcraft closed a 150-employee manufacturing plant in Delphi, which is about 75 miles north of Indianapolis. The action was the latest in a string of closings in the past two years in North and South Carolina and Tennessee as the company moves production overseas.

Chromcraft stock has steadily eroded to $3.40 per share after trading near $13 in early 2006.

Anderson-Ray, 53, will be replaced as chairman and CEO by Ronald Butler, the company's lead director.

The 58-year-old Butler previously served as interim chairman. He has resigned as president and CEO of Pet Resorts Inc., which focuses on pet boarding, daycare, training and grooming, in order to assume the new job. Butler also has been executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at PetSmart, a publicly traded pet supply chain headquartered in Phoenix.

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