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Rowe Shuffles Key Management

By Home Furnishings Business in on January 2006 Rowe Cos. has filed a plan with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that is restructuring its top management

According to the filing, Gene Morphis, chief financial officer for the company, has been terminated, and Garry Angle, vice president and treasurer, has been promoted to principal financing ad accounting officer.

Gerald Birnbach, chairman and president of the company that includes upholstery producer Rowe Furniture and retailer Storehouse, will now serve as president of Rowe Furniture, too.

Bruce Birnbach, who had been president of Rowe Furniture, has been named president of a newly created division named Rowe Sourcing that will focus on the purchasing of raw materials and imported goods.

Timothy Fortune, formerly vice president of human resources and strategy, is now senior vice president of operations for the furniture division and oversees human resources, information and technology, finance, process improvement and manufacturing.

Stefanie Lucus continues as senior vice president of Rowe Furniture overseeing marketing, sales and merchandising of the company.

Barry Birnbach continues as vice president of corporate development and will oversee customer service and sales support.

The changes follow an organizational review of the company by the Carl Marks Advisory Group that said three of its consultants would assume full-time interim responsibilities with Rowe Furniture. Rowe Cos. hired the group in November to perform financial and management consulting services.

Edward Spinelli is serving as interim vice president of manufacturing, Melvin Henson is serving as interim vice president of finance, and Tyler Montague is serving as interim process improvement manager. All report to Fortune.

The changes follow the company's announcement earlier this week that it had executed a credit agreement with GE Commercial Finance for a secured credit line up to $50 million and for a secured loan of $7 million to replace an existing credit lie with Bank of America and capital lease with SunTrust Bank.

The company must raise equity capital of $9.5 million and secure a commitment for at least $2 million in equity capital by Feb. 10, according the credit agreement. Until the equity is raised, the credit facility is limited to $45 million.

Rowe said if it doesn't raise the equity by the deadline, it will be in default of the credit agreement if the lender does not grant a waiver or amendment. It also said until it meets the equity requirement, the amount of assets required to secure the borrowings will be increased. The company has hired an investment bank to help raise capital.


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