The first million dollar CEO in O'Sullivan Industries history, Bob Parker, died Aug. 13 following a long illness.
Mr. Parker, a former executive with the Sharpie division of Newell Rubbermaid, led a complete transformation of the then Lamar-based O'Sullivan company, in the process eliminating nearly every last vestige of the founding O'Sullivan family and many loyal employees who had served the company for two or three decades.
At the same time, Mr. Parker moved the company's headquarters from Lamar to the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Ga., a move which was part of Mr. Parker's contract when he took over the company.
While he was at it, he brought in a number of his former associates at Newell Rubbermaid to take over upper management. Under his watch, the losses the company had been suffering continued to grow and eventually, O'Sullivan Industries declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mr. Parker's illness forced him to step down and Rick Walters, one of the former Newell Rubbermaid executives he brought in, became the acting and later the permanent CEO.