Essendant President & CEO Aiken Resigns

Ric Phillips, president of the company's industrial division, takes over in interim role.

Bob Aiken has resigned as president and CEO of Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ: ESND), Deerfield, IL, to "pursue an opportunity outside the company," the distributor announced.

Ric Phillips, group president of Essendant's industrial division, has been appointed interim president and CEO, effective immediately. Essendant's board has formed a search committee and retained a search firm to select a permanent CEO.

This is the second CEO departure in the past two years. In May 2015, Cody Phipps resigned as president and CEO, resurfacing a couple of weeks later as CEO of Owens & Minor.

When Phipps resigned, Aiken succeeded him first as interim president and CEO and then as the permanent replacement in July 2015. MDM interviewed Aiken earlier this year about the master distributor's efforts to refocus its brand positioning and enter the foodservice sector in Essendant’s Path Takes New Twist.

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