DENVER—Industry veteran Ken Peden has joined MP Global, a leading manufacturer of laminate and hardwood flooring underlayment products, asdirector of the polyfoam division. In this newly created position, Peden will be charged with growing the business, which has been his hallmark in the 25- plus years he has been involved in the flooring industry.
According to Al Collison, president, MP Global, the goal is to increase sales 20% to 30%. He noted the company does a lot of crossover with products; many polyfoam customers would buy fiber, and management is putting more emphasis on that at this time. “We’re trying to grow business within our realm,” he said, adding that Peden is the right man for the job.
“When I got to know him in the 1990s, he took Quick•Step from $0 to $300 million, making it the largest seller of laminate in North America,” Collison said. “When it was sold to Mohawk he went to Kronotex and took them from sixth or seventh in the laminate business to No. 2.”
He added that Peden has all the traits he looks for in an employee: level headedness, logical, honest and hard working. “With Ken’s contacts in the industry, we’re confident we can grow our business. We already have a very competent staff in place.”
Peden, who joined MP Global at the beginning of the month, said his short-term goal is to get to know the customers and determine where the opportunities lie. “We want to grow the business pretty quickly. Anytime someone comes in from the outside, there is a chance to look at new opportunities that may exist, whether it be new products, new customers, etc.” Long term, Peden believes MP Global is poised to ascend to the next level. “With my past management experience, I think I can be an asset in helping them achieve that goal.” One area he mentioned was adding new distributors and enhancing existing distributors.
Aside from his stints at Quick•Step, where he pioneered the industry change from 4% glueless to 96% glueless in four years, and Formica, where he doubled sales, Peden also launched Downs Supply, a Denver distributor that grew to $45 million out of 10 warehouses and served as president of LDBrinkman’s Midwest division.