BlueLinx, the Atlanta-based distributor that hasn't turned a profit since 2006, announced that president and chief executive officer George Judd has left the company effective today and that a search has begun for a successor. Howard Cohen, the chairman of BlueLinx's board, will serve as executive chairman. The move comes two days before BlueLinx's annual stockholder meeting, where Judd will resign as a director.
In many ways, Judd was captain of a ship that began foundering once the housing market collapsed around 2006 and that he never was able to bail out. Since turning a profit in 2006, BlueLinx compiled net losses of $236 million between 2007 and 2012. And on May 1, the company announced its net loss for the first quarter of 2013 deepened to $12.6 million from a net loss of $11 million in the year-earlier period, even as sales rose 10.8% to $503.2 million.
Judd came on board BlueLinx in May 2004 as president and chief operating officer and moved into the CEO position in October 2008. Previously, he was an executive at Georgia-Pacific Corp. BlueLinx basically was Georgia-Pacific's distribution unit until the company spun it off as a separate company in 2004 in a public offering led by Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus today owns just over half the company's shares.
According to BlueLinx's website, the company has 2,000 employees, 55+ company-owned locations, 50+ reload centers and a fleet of more than 600 trucks and 1,000 trailers to services the continental United States. It distributes more than 10,000 products and 70,000+ SKUs to more than 11,500 customers in 25,000 locations across the United States, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean Islands.