Zep Peps Up Organizations

Published in CSP Daily News

Aligns automotive chemical business, other businesses

ATLANTA -- Zep Inc., a leading consumable chemical packaged goods company that manufactures a variety of high-performance maintenance and cleaning chemicals, has announced that it is consolidating its North American commercial organizations under the leadership of Steve Nichols and Joe Seladi to align product and market development organizations.

Steve Nichols will assume the title of group president and have responsibility for our Industrial & Institutional (I&I) businesses including: North American Sales & Service, Zep Vehicle Care, Zep Distribution, Zep Industrial, Zep Energy, Zep Food, Zep Government & Export divisions, including sales and marketing to customers who purchase directly, through distribution, or as a strategic account customer.

Nichols is an industry veteran with a variety of leadership roles including two international assignments.

Seladi will also assume the title of group president and have responsibility for Zep Automotive and Zep Retail businesses. Seladi joined Zep in the 2010 acquisition of Amrep Inc. where he previously served as the CEO. Seladi has more than 40 years with manufacturing organizations, having led industry organizations for the past 20 years.

"These changes are consistent with our goal of driving profitable growth and will enhance our customer experience, streamline our cost structure and create a culture of continuous improvement," said John K. Morgan, chairman, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Zep. "Steve's experience leading multi-channel organizations will be a valuable asset to our North American Sales & Service and Distribution selling organizations and allow Joe to focus his attention on Zep's Retail businesses and an enterprise-wide complexity reduction initiative."

In conjunction with this alignment, Darrin Baum has been promoted to vice president and general manager of Zep Vehicle Care. Darrin is a veteran of the car wash industry having worked in and managed car washes before joining the Vehicle Care operation in 1997. In the past sixteen years with the company, Darrin has served as territory manager, district manager, western vice president of sales and most recently as the senior vice president of sales and service.

"Darrin's extensive knowledge of our industry and his passion for our team together with his business acumen and dynamic leadership skills uniquely qualify him to lead Vehicle Care into the future," said Nichols.

This announcement will also mark the move from Amrep to Zep as a go-to-market identity, with specialized brands under the Zep umbrella. Ther Zep Automotive business will focus on providing maintenance solutions to the automotive industry while the Zep Industrial business develops solutions for industrial maintenance and repair operations. Additionally, the Zep Distribution business will focus on sales of Zep products through distributors and redistributors while the Zep Retail business continues to address the needs of regional and national retail customers.

Zep, with fiscal year 2013 net sales of approximately $690 million, is a leading consumable chemical packaged goods company selling a variety of chemicals that help professionals and professional consumers clean, maintain and protect their assets. It is focused on the attractive industry dynamics of the transportation market and the industrial maintenance and repair operation (MRO) market, which together now comprise approximately 60% of its revenue with the balance derived from sales into the facilities maintenance vertical. It markets these products and services under brands such as Zep, Zep Commercial, Zep Professional, Enforcer, National Chemical, Selig, Misty, Next Dimension, Petro, i-Chem, TimeMist, TimeWick, MicrobeMax, Country Vet, Konk, Original Bike Spirits, Blue Coral, Black Magic, Rain-X, Niagara National, FC Forward Chemicals, Rexodan, Mykal and a number of private-label brands. Founded in 1937, some of Zep's brands have been in existence since 1896.