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Pergo realigns North American management team; Hartman to lead sales, marketing; Kelley resigns

GARNER, N.C.—Determined to rebuild the Pergo brand within specialty retail, the company announced a series of executives changes that will help it “capitalize on synergies” within its worldwide activities.

David Hartmann, who joined Pergo earlier this summer (FCNews, May 31/June 7) as vice president of sales, has been given the additional responsibility of leading the company’s North American marketing efforts. Also, as part of the realignment, Ralf Eisermann, currently CEO of Pergo AG, assumed the role of president and CEO of Pergo LLC, the mill’s U.S. affiliate, following the resignation of George Kelley, who remains a consultant for the company.

“The Pergo brand has power; it’s one of the very few leading brands in the flooring category and it is the strongest laminate flooring brand by far,” Hartmann said. “We need to translate that back to our original base: specialty retailers. We remain very committed to rebuilding the Pergo brand within specialty retail.”

As such, he noted the company’s first priority is to “stabilize our specialty retail business for our existing customers. We have started by re-evaluating our product, merchandising and support programs for our existing customers. Once we have our program properly structured and resourced to better meet market demands, we will expand our distribution to a wider base of key customers.”

Part of this strategy, Hartmann added, is to continue what it started this year, bringing new and innovative products and concepts to market such as its PerfectFold joint locking technology. “We are aggressively working on several new and innovative product ideas for 2011.”

Another component to Pergo’s strategy of getting in front of the specialty dealer was returning to Surfaces this year, and Hartmann said the company has committed to exhibit at the 2011 show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Jan. 24 to 27. “However, our plans are to continue to use a space off the main show floor, which we believe better showcases our new products and more effectively delivers our message to our targeted customers.”

As for his new responsibilities and the overall realignment within the company, he said, “Pergo has operated globally as separate companies, each with different strengths and priorities. Eisermann’s vision is ‘one Pergo.’ This means we will leverage the strengths of the company to maximum effect. Our plan to grow the business is aggressive, and it is based on capabilities currently within the company. One Pergo will be a new Pergo in the best possible way. From a marketing perspective, who could ask for more?”

For more information, call Pergo at 919.773.5950.

-Matthew Spieler