Posted October 25, 2017

Essendant names Phillips president and CEO

Essendant Inc. named Richard D. Phillips president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. 

He had been serving as interim president and CEO since June 2017. Phillips was also elected to Essendant's board of directors and the board's executive committee.

"Following a thorough search, with assistance from an independent search firm, we firmly believe that Ric is the right person to lead Essendant as we continue to execute our long-term transformation plan," said Charles K. Crovitz, Essendant's chairman of the board. "Ric has proven expertise across our platform and channels, including responsibility for the successful turnaround of our Industrial business and leadership of many of our growth businesses. Since stepping in as interim CEO, he has intensified our transformation efforts, developing the plan to aggressively execute against our strategic drivers. Ric and the Board are aligned that we must act with urgency and intensity to alter the trajectory of our business as we implement the actions necessary to position Essendant for long-term success."

Phillips added, "With the support of our strong team we have made important progress advancing our transformation initiatives in recent quarters. We recognize that we have much more to do, and I am excited to continue to work closely with the Board and the Essendant team as we move quickly to drive our strategy forward. I am confident in our future and believe that we can deliver improved performance and long-term value for shareholders."

Phillips joined Essendant in January 2013 as president of online and new channels. He subsequently served as president, ORS Nasco, beginning in November 2015, and he was named group president of Industrial in August 2016, when he added responsibility for Essendant's automotive and e-commerce businesses.