Randy Eller steps down as CBK president and COO
By Becky Boswell Smith -- Casual Living, 8/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
Randy H. Eller, president and COO of home accents company CBK, announced his plans to step down from his position recently and begin what he calls "a lifestyle refocus." Parent company Blyth Inc. is expected to name a successor by Nov. 1. Eller will stay with the company until March 2005, to help with the transition.
"CBK will be fine without me," he said. "I've been the public face of CBK, but people don't realize how strong the middle management of the company is. Those people run the company on a day-to-day basis."
Eller explained his decision in a conversation at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market last month. "I'm 50 years old and I just decided I want to rebalance my life," he said. "For the past several years I've spent 70 or more hours a week with CBK. Now I want to refocus my life. It's sort of a semi-retirement, but I'll stay involved in the business. You'll probably see me walking a show or two."
Eller said he plans to move from Union City, Tenn., where CBK is based, to Nashville, build a house and spend time with his young granddaughter, who with her parents also is moving to Nashville.
"I'm very interested in looking at small companies who may be seeking venture capital," he said, "In two or three years I may re-enter the marketplace in some sort of entrepreneurial role."
Eller also said he expects to spend the next couple of years learning about aspects of the home decor business with which he is less familiar. "I'm going to dig deeper into the industry," he said, "to determine what to do next."
Eller has been president of CBK since 1996 and with the company for 16 years. The company was sold two years ago to Blyth by the five partners, which included Eller as the second largest stockholder.
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