Gunn retires from SCC
TORONTO – Stephen K. Gunn, co-founder and co-chairman of the board of directors of Sleep Country Canada Holdings (SCC), will retire from the company following its planned annual general meeting of shareholders next month. Christine Magee will assume the role as the sole chairman.
Gunn, 65, co-founded the company with Magee in 1994 and served as chairman and chief executive officer from 1997 to 2014. He became co-chairman when SCC return to the public equities market ion 2015.
In a statement, the company noted that during this time Sleep Country developed into one of the most recognisable and trusted household retail names in Canada, supported by his extensive retail industry, strategic planning, business development and corporate governance expertise. Along with Magee, he was named Retailer of Year by the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance on 2009.
“The last 25 years of building Sleep Country have been tremendously satisfying,” said Gunn. “We set out to establish a company that would succeed by delighting our customers with outstanding customer service. I am retiring happily, content that we have achieved that goal and that the company will flourish under the continuing leadership of Christine Magee, chair of the board; David Friesema, chief executive officer; Stewart Schaefer, chief business development officer and rest of the management team.
“We have assembled a strong exceptional board and I am confident that our shareholders and the company will be well served under the continued stewardship of Christine as chair and the abilities and diverse industry experience provided by our entire board,” he continued, adding, “I want to thank our entire team of dedicated associates who provide great service to our customers every day all across the country.”
“Having worked alongside Steve going on 25 years, as we started and built this company together with our amazing team, I know how much he will be missed,” Magee observed. “This organization would not be where it is today were it not for his guidance, talented abilities, and dedication. He is a strong leader, a charismatic mentor and has been a fantastic business partner as well as a friend to myself and all of us here at Sleep Country. I warmly thank Steve for his generosity of spirit, passion and commitment.”
Magee will continue to lead the company as chairman of the board. Beyond her role at Sleep Country – she is best known publicly for staring in many of its radio and television advertisements – she is widely regarded as one of Canada's most trusted and experienced voices in business. She currently serves on the board of directors of Metro Inc., TELUS, Trillium Health Partners, Woodbine Entertainment Group, Plan International Canada and as chairman of Telefilm Canada’s advisory council.
Magee was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015 in recognition of her contributions to the Canadian business community.
“Steve’s role at Sleep Country set a precedent for excellence, and his insights set the foundation for our business,” SCC chief executive officer David Friesema said. “I look forward to the next chapter in our continuing growth and know that Sleep Country will continue to make great strides in our mandate to help all Canadians find their best sleep.”
Sleep Country Canada Holding is this country’s largest specialty mattress retailer and operates under three banners including: Dormez-vous, the largest mattress retailer in Quebec; Sleep Country Canada, the largest mattress retailer in the rest of Canada; and Endy, Canada's leading online mattress brand. It has 265 stores and 16 distribution centres across the country.