Tempur Sealy Names Former Dollar Thrifty Chief as Next CEO

Tempur Sealy International Inc. named the former head of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. as its next chief executive officer, turning to the auto-rental industry for direction after an activist-investor battle shook up management.

Scott Thompson, who ran Dollar Thrifty until 2012, will become chairman, CEO and president of Tempur Sealy immediately, the Lexington, Kentucky-based mattress company said in a statement Tuesday.

The move follows a clash between Tempur Sealy and hedge fund H Partners Management. The investor successfully lobbied fellow shareholders in May to oppose the re-election of three board members, including then-CEO Mark Sarvary. As part of a settlement with H Partners, Sarvary stepped down the following week.

H Partners, Tempur Sealy’s largest shareholder, had urged the company to recruit a “capable” leader, overhaul its management structure, and better communicate with workers, shareholders and retailers. The hedge fund, previously known for helping turn around theme-park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp., owns about 10 percent of the mattress company.

Tuesday’s announcement helped send Tempur Sealy shares up as much as 4.9 percent to $75.24 in New York. The stock was already up 31 percent this year before the latest gain.

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