A new CEO steps in at Handy Hardware

Members of the Houston-based Handy Hardware co-op received an e-mail message Thursday afternoon from Kenneth White, a partner at consulting firm Tatum, announcing that White will assume the post of CEO.

Several weeks ago, Handy's board of directors hired Tatum to "assess the critical operating, financial and IT related issues currently facing Handy Hardware," according to Thursday's letter. The board voted to accept Tatum's action plan. 

Tina Kirbie will remain as president, responsible primarily for member-dealer relations. However, departmental heads previously reporting to Kirbie will report to White. "Tina has been and will continue to be the 'face of Handy,'" according to White's letter.

On April 11, Handy issued a press release announcing its 4.1% first quarter sales increase. In the same release, the co-op pointed to problems with the transition to a new computer operating system. 

“We have gotten past the worst of this transition and our numbers are climbing back up to our historical service level marks,” Kirbie said in the April 11 release. 

Handy Hardware recently opened a distribution center in Meridian, Miss., its second. 

Tatum describes itself as a consulting firm that blends interim executive services, executive consulting and executive search, with expertise in financial matters and technology projects. 


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