Los Angeles—Bentley Mills, a division of the Balta Group, has made several changes at the top of its organization. Ralph Grogan is leaving his post as president, returning permanently to the east coast for personal reasons. Jim Harley, a seasoned industry executive who rejoined Bentley nearly five years ago as chief operating officer, will take the helm as president. Richard French, a proven leader in commercial carpet sales, will move into a newly created role as vice president of sales.
“Bentley is the strong, resilient, competitive company it is today because of Ralph and Jim’s joint leadership,” said Tom Debusschere, chief executive officer of Balta Group, the Belgium-based manufacturer of textile floor coverings that acquired Bentley earlier this year. “We are thankful for his vision, strategy and commitment to our brands. Jim is the perfect person to continue the momentum and lead Bentley into its next chapter.”
Harley has earned a distinguished reputation in the floor covering industry. He started his career with Bentley more than 30 years ago as part of the management team that built the company from a small start-up carpet manufacturer in 1980 into a brand widely recognized for its innovative design, high-quality products and excellence in customer service. He returned to Bentley in 2013 after spending eight years in executive roles at Tandus Centiva (now part of Tarkett), Monterey Carpets and Chroma Systems.
“I’ve spent 20 years of my career at Bentley and have never been more excited about the future,” Harley said. “We have an extraordinary group of people, and I look forward to working with them as Bentley continues to grow.”
To further bolster Bentley’s growth trajectory and meet the demands of a dynamic market, the company has created a new position to oversee its sales strategy. French takes on the role following more than 21 years at Interface, where he served as its vice president of sales for the Americas. French brings experience in exporting to Latin America and developing national accounts across North America, where for Bentley now has a competitive mid-market positioned product in Modulyss.
Grogan, who came back to Bentley in 2013 with the responsibility for reinvigorating the brand and cementing its competitive position in the marketplace, explained, “The decision to leave Bentley is bittersweet, but personally it’s the right move for me and my family. Jim has played a critical role in Bentley’s success over the last four-plus years. There’s no one better for the job.”