Back in February 2008, Joe Appelmann delivered a memorable quote to a Home Channel News reporter working on a cover story. Appelmann said: “This is the ninth housing market downturn since World War II.” Pause. “There will be a 10th.”
Unfortunately, that 10th downturn has taken its bitter time to fully materialize. Since our 2008 story, Stock Building Supply has entered and exited bankruptcy, changed ownership and, last month, hired a new chief executive.
Appelmann was a 22-year veteran of Stock who held many key posts, including VP finance, senior VP logistics and chief operating officer. He became CEO in 2007 and led the company through a sale to The Gores Group, a Los Angeles private-equity firm, and a Chapter 11 restructuring.
His parting words hit all the right notes of an outgoing executive: “Stock is an exceptional place to work, with a bright future. I would like to thank every associate for the courtesy and loyalty they extended to me during my tenure. My sincere hope is they will provide the same support to my successor.”
His successor is Jeffrey Rea, a former senior executive at Johns Manville, where he rose to the position of senior VP of the building products group. More recently, Rea was president of Tyco Electronics specialty electronics group. Time will tell if that background will help him energize business in Stock’s 21 markets.