PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Free Download of

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


3rd CEO in 2 Years Joins Ben Moore

Friday, October 11, 2013

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

Paint maker Benjamin Moore & Company has appointed a career retailing executive as its third CEO in two years.

The 130-year-old Montvale, NJ-based paint and coatings manufacturer named Michael Searles chief executive officer in an announcement issued Tuesday (Oct. 8).

Michael Searles
Benjamin Moore & Co.

Michael Searles will be Benjamin Moore & Co.'s new CEO—the third in two years for the producer of residential, commercial and industrial maintenance coatings.

Searles, 64, succeeds Robert S. Merritt, who was fired Sept. 27 after 14 months as CEO and president.

Searles brings 40 years of retail experience to the role, including serving in leadership roles at Kids “R” Us, Wilsons Leather and, most recently, Stage Stores Inc., Benjamin Moore said.

Searles said in a statement: "The opportunities for continued success of this iconic brand are excellent, and I look forward to working with the team to make them a reality."

Merritt’s Departure

It took the Berkshire Hathaway business unit less than two weeks to name the new executive after its brief announcement that Merritt was “no longer with the firm.”

As of Thursday (Oct. 10), the company still had offered no information regarding the reason for Merritt’s abrupt departure.

Merritt had been appointed as Benjamin Moore's CEO in July 2012. He replaced Denis Abrams, who had been ousted by Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

Benjamin Moore Leadership
Photos: Benjamin Moore & Co.

Searles replaces Robert S. Merritt (left), who held the CEO and President position for the paint maker for 14 months. Merritt had succeeded Denis Abrams (right), who was fired by Benjamin Moore's parent company owner Warren Buffett after seven years.

Abrams had headed the coatings company for seven years. His dismissal was the result of “a differing view about distribution channels and brand strategy for the future,” Buffett said in a letter posted online by the Wall Street Journal.

News outlets have reported that Merritt, too, was fired by the 83-year-old investment tycoon.

Focus on Dealer Commitment

In a statement, Buffett described Searles as a “strong, adept leader who understands the importance of the independent retailer.”

"Mike is committed to the strategy we have set forth and the commitment we have outlined to the dealer network. We are excited to have him joining the Benjamin Moore team,” Buffett said.

In the past few years, the company has faced strained relationships with dealers, who have accused the paint maker of “strong-arming them into exclusive distribution agreements while milking them for cash,” among other allegations, according to the New York Post.

Buffett acquired Benjamin Moore for $1 billion in 2001. The company, founded in 1883, produces commercial and industrial maintenance coatings, with products distributed via a network of independent paint and decorating retailers throughout North America.

Staffing and Changes

Staffing at Benjamin Moore declined about 15% to 2,240 in the five years ended Dec. 31, according to Berkshire's annual reports, Bloomberg News reported.

"Stage Stores said in June that Searles left as part of the consolidation that combined a Virginia operation where he worked with the corporate headquarters in Houston," the news service also reported.

Searles "was named CEO of Wilsons in late 2004 and stepped down in 2008 after the company announced plans to shut stores amid mounting losses," Bloomberg News said.

   

Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Benjamin Moore; Business management; Business operations; Coatings manufacturers; Distributors; Personnel; Personnel changes

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

International Paint LLC

International Paint Engineered Coatings

Learn about our solutions for:
  • Structural Steel
  • Piping & Equipment
  • Storage Tanks
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Secondary Containment


    Sherwin-Williams
    Heat-FLex® Hi-Temp 1200

    Improved Corrosion
    Resistance
    Enhanced Durability
    Faster Shop Throughput


    Polyval Coatings
    POLYFLEX brand Polyurea

    high chemical resistant membranes are used extensively to protect our environment in secondary containment applications.


    BASF
    New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

    Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films basf.us/industrialcoatings
    polyorders@basf.com
    800-231-7868


    Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
    Wasser Coatings Protect

    some of the most important bridges in the country; learn about our NEPCOAT-approved system and our entire range of MCU & Polyurea coatings. 1-800-627-2968 www.wassercoatings.com


    Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
    Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

    A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.


    Carboline Company
    Hyrdrocarbon Fire & Jet Fire Protection

    Pyroclad X1 is the latest breakthrough in epoxy based intumescent fireproofing technology

  •  
     
     
    Technology Publishing

    The Technology Publishing Network

    The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
    Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

     
    EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
    REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
    MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
     

    © Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com