Peter Alexander
Peter Alexander

BMC President and CEO Peter Alexander is leaving the nation's second-biggest full-service lumberyard effective immediately and will be succeeded on an interim basis by David Keltner while a search for a permanent leader takes place, the company announced today.

"As we pivot the organization to accelerate our strategic plan, the Board of Directors and Peter Alexander determined it was time to make a leadership change to more fully leverage our national business portfolio and growth opportunities,"Board Chairman David Bullock said in a news release. "We have a strong and experienced senior management team in place that will work closely with Mr. Keltner to make this leadership transition seamless for our customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.”

The Atlanta Business Journal quoted Alexander in an email as saying: "[M]y stepping down ... had been planned and was mutually agreed upon ... This was an orderly transition and my decision." An SEC filing said Alexander left without cause and will receive all benefits in his company's separation agreement negotiated back in 2016.

Keltner was chief financial officer of Ferguson Enterprises Inc. and CFO at Wolselely's North American unit before joining what became BMC Stock Holdings in April 2014.

Alexander's departure comes two years after BMC took over Stock Building Supply in one of LBM's biggest mergers ever. “Since that time, BMC’s employees have done a commendable job combining operations and delivering more cost synergies than initially anticipated," Bullock said. On Nov. 6, the company reported its net income doubled to $18.4 million in the third quarter from a year-earlier $9.2 million on a 7.3% increase in net sales to $881 million.

Operating income that quarter actually dipped 1.2% to $33.3 million. The big change in net income stemmed largely from the fact that the company incurred a $12.5 million loss last year on extinguishment of debt but didn't report any such action this year.

BMC ranks fourth on the ProSales 100 and trails only Builders FirstSource among full-service lumberyards. It had sales of $3.09 billion in 2016, 95% of it to pros. It has roughly 9,000 employees and 150 branches across the Western and Southeastern U.S.

BMC started as BMC West, a Boise, Idaho-based traditional lumberyard that sprang out of Boise Cascade. From there it moved to San Francisco and became a holding company called BMHC that held both BMC West and a huge framing service called SelectBuild. Then it was back to Boise as BMC Select during the housing crash, when it reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy law. And now it’s in Atlanta as BMC Stock Holdings, having burst from its old territory west of the Mississippi to take over Stock Building Supply and several other ProSales 100 giants. It now gets the bulk of its revenues from Texas, California, Georgia, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead BMC through this transition,” the news release quoted Keltner as saying. “With the shared goal to deliver best-in-class customer service and exceptional innovative solutions, I’m looking forward to working with our associates to continue to execute on BMC’s strategy.”

Alexander joined what then was called BMC Select in July 2010. (Announcement) Previously he was president of ORCO Construction, a California firm that grew to become one of the West's biggest distributors of construction supplies.