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.