De la Roche Replaces Gaffney at Springs

Don Hogsett, Staff Staff, May 15, 2006

Fort Mill, S.C. — John de la Roche, president of Springs Canada, has been named senior vp, bedding merchandising, for Springs Global US Inc., succeeding highly respected veteran Tom Gaffney, who has resigned from the company after a 21-year career.

“We thank Tom for his significant contributions to our business and wish him the very best,” said Tom O’Connor, executive vp of Springs Global.

De la Roche takes over a diversified bedding portfolio at Springs that brought in more than $1.3 billion in sales during 2005, and which accounted for roughly two-thirds of estimated Springs home fashions sales, excluding hard window treatments, of about $2.1 billion last year.

De la Roche joined the Canadian division in 1987 after a career in retailing at Hudson’s Bay Company. He was named president of Springs Canada in 1997. “The division has shown consistent growth and results since then, and we look forward to the leadership John will bring to our core business,” said O’Connor.

George Gambrell succeeds De la Roche as president of Springs Canada. He had most recently been vp merchandising, and earlier had been controller after joining the company in 1978. Both de la Roche and Gambrell report to O’Connor.

The departing Gaffney, a popular and respected figure who had for years functioned as No. 2 to O’Connor, joined Springs when it bought M. Lowenstein Company and its Wamsutta-Pacific bedding franchise in 1985. Gaffney had been vp merchandising for the upscale Wamsutta and Pacific, its sibling mass merchant nameplate.

After joining Springs, he held a variety of merchandising and sales leadership positions. Most recently he had led Springs Global’s bedding and soft window business unit, as well as bedding merchandising, since the major mill’s merger with Brazilian textiles producer Coteminas, and its subsequent reorganization.

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