Harry & David’s new CEO has big plans


The new chairman and CEO of Harry & David has already accomplished many changes at the company in his first six months at the helm.

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The new chairman and CEO of Harry & David has already accomplished many changes at the company in his first six months at the helm.

Steve Heyer began by reducing the number of executive vice president roles and increasing outside sales managers, cutting the total payroll by $1 million.

“Every company has its share of underperformers and we had more than our fair share in the senior executive ranks,” Heyer said. “We’ve streamlined and upgraded the talent structure in our business. Have we decimated payroll? I don’t think so. I can save $40 million without taking it out of paychecks. I can buy ribbon for our gifts in Manhattan for less than what we were paying vendors. We have duplications and multiple systems that were very expensive. Nobody looked and nobody tried to find new ways to do old things.”

Case in point: A catalog with a picture on the cover of a product the company didn’t even sell.

“The front page is precious real estate,” Heyer said. “Control of everything was vertical. There was no communication between marketing and merchandising, no joint problem solving.”

Read more at the Mail Tribune.

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