An industry veteran and former top merchandising executive at Handy Hardware, Mickey Schulte resigned last week to take a position outside the hardware industry.
Schulte had been a key figure at the Houston-based distributor and served during the company’s growth years, its bankruptcy and its subsequent reorganization.
“Mickey’s efforts helped position handy for long-term success, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Craig Cowart, Handy’s executive VP merchandising and marketing.
Handy Hardware emerged from a Chapter 11 filing in August 2013 after being purchased by Hardware Holdings, part of the Littlejohn & Company group. The company’s structure changed from a member-owned co-op to an independent wholesaler and distributor. As a result of the bankruptcy proceedings, retailers who were members of the co-op lost their equity.
During the transformation, the distributor tapped two industry veterans to take the reins. Doug Miller, formerly the CEO at Jensen Distributing, holds the CEO post. More recently, Cowart took over the top merchandising post. He is a former president of Marvin's Building Materials and Home Centers and a former merchandise manager at Lowe’s. Cowart has spearheaded the distributor's 2014 Profit Plus initiative to improve merchandising, assortment, vendor relations and dealer programs.
Handy veteran Ken Harvey, who previously reported to Schulte, remains in his position as VP dealer services, overseeing the sales team and customer service.