EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Kid Brands, a manufacturer of juvenile and infant products has announced the appointment of Raphael Benaroya as president and CEO, effective immediately. The company intends to appoint a non-executive chairman of the board, although Benaroya will continue to serve as chairman until his successor is appointed, and is expected to continue to serve as a board member thereafter.
Benaroya has served as executive chairman of the board since Sept. 12, 2011, during which time he has held all responsibilities of the CEO. He has served as Kid Brands' chairman of the board since Jan. 31, 2008 and has been a member of the board since 1993.
Benaroya commented, "At the time I transitioned into the role of executive chairman, becoming actively involved in the business, Kids Brands was challenged by operational and financial issues, as well as shifting market dynamics. Our team has engaged diligently to enhance the Company's financial disciplines, trim expenses, and improve working capital management by reducing the quantity and improving the quality of inventory. Further, we recently completed a refinancing intended to strengthen the Company's financial position. We have rationalized our collection of brands and product lines, shifting our focus toward our own and meaningful licensed brands, and eliminated non-core, unprofitable product lines. At the same time, we have bolstered our management team -- appointing a Chief Operating Officer, who has already made strong contributions to further build our operational and executional capabilities, and adding to our business unit leadership in the areas of merchandising, finance and operations. Benefits of the corrective actions we have been taking are starting to take hold, and we believe will become even more apparent in the coming year."
Benaroya continued, "We are now focused even more intently on product development and strengthening our sales organization. We have begun developing innovative new products and are working to increase our penetration across distribution channels that we believe present the greatest opportunity, spanning web, mass merchants and specialty. We will also continue to examine and improve our global sourcing, with several initiatives underway in the area of logistics. Overall, our team remains confident in the long-term prospects for Kid Brands, despite challenges in the marketplace. I am looking forward to meeting the challenge of leading our efforts in a more permanent role, as the company continues to build a solid platform for future growth."