Silentnight shake-up puts Leivers’ job into question

The future of Silentnight group marketing director Julie Leivers has been thrown into doubt by a strategic review of the business initiated by new chief executive Neal Mernock.

The review is likely to result in a raft of redundancies, with Leivers’ position being mooted as under threat. However, Mernock insists no decision has yet been made.

Mernock took over the group chief executive role at the company late last month following a stint as managing director of Silentnight Beds, its biggest division. Other brands in the group include Layezee and Sealey. Predecessor Nino Allenza has moved to a position on the holding company board.

Mernock says the review will be all-encompassing and says it is necessary because of tough market conditions. “The bed market has had a difficult year,” he says. “We need to make sure we’re structured correctly going forward.”

A five-year product and brand strategy would continue as planned, he adds.

Leivers joined the UK’s biggest bed manufacturer last summer after quitting earlier as vice-president of marketing and innovation for GSK drinks brands Lucozade, Ribena and Horlicks (MW August 26, 2004).

She oversaw the appointment of Leith London to its &£2m creative account in July (MW July 28) following a competitive pitch. Silentnight had previously split with Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan after five years.

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