William Fondren, who has served as chairman of Orgill board of directors since January 2005, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2012.
Fondren spent 24 years as Orgill’s president and CEO, leading the Memphis, Tenn.-based from a regional distributor serving the Midsouth to one of the industry’s largest independent hardlines distributors, with retail customers in all 50 states, throughout Canada and in more than 60 countries around the world.
Ron Beal, Orgill’s current president and CEO, will succeed Fondren as board chairman while retaining his current responsibilities with the company. Fondren will also continue to serve as a member of Orgill’s board.
“We are delighted Bill has agreed to remain on Orgill’s board and that we will continue to have access to his advice and counsel,” Beal said.
Added Fondren: “As a privately held company, one of the most important things Orgill can do is plan for an orderly transition on our board and establish a continuity of leadership for our team; these changes are a reflection of that type of planning.”
Fondren first joined Orgill in 1977, when he served as general manager of the company’s appliance division. Later he became executive VP and general manager of Orgill’s hardware division and was responsible for sales, purchasing and merchandising of hardware products. He was named president and CEO in 1981 and eventually succeeded Joseph Orgill III as board chairman.
“Bill has always championed the value of a strong team and has been instrumental in assembling and guiding the team here at Orgill for more than three decades,” Beal said. “Not only has Orgill experienced unprecedented growth during this period, but we have also been able to help thousands of retailers achieve greater success in their own operations, which is our ultimate mission.”