Essendant Names Robert B. Aiken Jr. as President And Chief Executive Officer

Jul 22, 2015, 16:15 ET from Essendant Inc.

DEERFIELD, Ill., July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ: ESND), a leading supplier of workplace essentials, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Robert B. Aiken Jr., president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Mr. Aiken, who has been serving as interim president and CEO since May 2015, also will continue as an Essendant Board member.

"Since stepping in as interim president and CEO, Bob has been immersed in the company's strategy and has clearly demonstrated he is the right leader to guide the company to deliver superior results," said Charles K. Crovitz, chairman of Essendant's Board of Directors. "The Board is confident in Bob's ability to work closely with our strong management team, committed employees, and business partners to execute Essendant's strategy and drive shareholder value."

"The opportunity to lead Essendant for the past several months has further strengthened my confidence in our future potential and I am delighted to lead the company going forward," said Robert B. Aiken Jr., president and chief executive officer of Essendant. "I look forward to working with our team as we continue to build Essendant into the fastest and most convenient solution for workplace essentials. We have the right strategy in place and remain committed to delivering value for our customers, and sustained profitable growth and value for shareholders."

Robert B. Aiken Jr. Biography

Mr. Aiken has served as interim CEO of Essendant since May of 2015. He previously rejoined the Essendant Board of Directors in February 2015 after serving as a director from December 2010 to May 2014.  Throughout his career, Mr. Aiken has held CEO positions at companies with revenues of up to $18 billion.  Most recently, he was CEO of Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization. Prior to this role, Mr. Aiken was CEO of the food company portfolio at Bolder Capital, a private equity firm. From 2004 to 2010, Mr. Aiken served in senior leadership positions at U.S. Foodservice, Inc., a leading foodservice distributor, where he most recently served as president and CEO. Prior to joining U.S. Foodservice, Mr. Aiken was president of Milwaukee Sign Co. and president and CEO of Metz Baking Company. He began his career as a corporate attorney.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements, including references to goals, plans, strategies, objectives, projected costs or savings, anticipated future performance, results or events and other statements that are not strictly historical in nature. These statements are based on management's current expectations, forecasts and assumptions. This means they involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied here. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the following: end-user demand for products in the office, technology, and furniture product categories may continue to decline; Essendant's reliance on key customers, and the risks inherent in continuing or increased customer concentration and consolidations; prevailing economic conditions and changes affecting the business products industry and the general economy; Essendant's ability to effectively manage its operations and to implement growth, cost-reduction and margin-enhancement initiatives; the impact of Essendant's repositioning, restructuring and rebranding activities on Essendant's customers, suppliers, and operations; Essendant's reliance on supplier allowances and promotional incentives; Essendant's reliance on independent resellers for a significant percentage of its net sales and, therefore, the importance of the continued independence, viability and success of these resellers; continuing or increasing competitive activity and pricing pressures within existing or expanded product categories, including competition from product manufacturers who sell directly to Essendant's customers; the impact of supply chain disruptions or changes in key suppliers' distribution strategies; Essendant's ability to maintain its existing information technology systems and the systems and e-commerce services that it provides to customers, and to successfully procure, develop and implement new systems and services without business disruption or other unanticipated difficulties or costs; the creditworthiness of Essendant's customers; Essendant's ability to manage inventory in order to maximize sales and supplier allowances while minimizing excess and obsolete inventory; Essendant's success in effectively identifying, consummating and integrating acquisitions; the risks and expense associated with Essendant's obligations to maintain the security of private information provided by Essendant's customers; the costs and risks related to compliance with laws, regulations and industry standards affecting Essendant's business; the availability of financing sources to meet Essendant's business needs; Essendant's reliance on key management personnel, both in day-to-day operations and in execution of new business initiatives; and the effects of hurricanes, acts of terrorism and other natural or man-made disruptions. 

Shareholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these risks and uncertainties in evaluating forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. For additional information about risks and uncertainties that could materially affect Essendant's results, please see the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The forward-looking information in this news release is made as of this date only, and the company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement. Investors are advised to consult any further disclosure by Essendant regarding the matters discussed in this release in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other written statements it makes from time to time. It is not possible to anticipate or foresee all risks and uncertainties, and investors should not consider any list of risks and uncertainties to be exhaustive or complete.

About Essendant

Essendant Inc. (formerly known as United Stationers Inc.) is a leading supplier of workplace essentials, with 2014 net sales of $5.3 billion. The company stocks a broad assortment of over 160,000 items, including technology products, traditional office products, janitorial and breakroom supplies, office furniture, industrial supplies, and automotive aftermarket tools. The Company's network of 74 distribution centers enable the Company to ship most products overnight to more than ninety percent of the U.S. and major cities in Mexico and Canada. For more information, visit

Essendant's common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol ESND.

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For further information contact: Todd Shelton Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (847) 627-7000


SOURCE Essendant Inc.