Handy hires new director of operations

As it plans for a reorganization and searches for a new CEO, Houston-based Handy Hardware Wholesale hired an Office Depot executive to head up its D.C. operations. 

In February, Handy Hardware hired J.R. Ferguson, a former senior distribution manager for Office Depot, as director of operations.

The co-op filed for bankruptcy protection in January. The company, which is expected to file its plan of reorganization in a matter of days, is continuing its search for a CEO. 

The most unpleasant aspect of Handy’s bankruptcy story is the loss of member equity. Class A and Class B shares once worth about $27 million today have no value.

“The fact that the dealers lost that investment is really bad -- a disappointing situation,” said Morrie Aaron, president of MCA Financial Group, Handy’s hired-gun financial advisory firm specializing guiding the co-op through its restructuring. “But the mission of Handy will continue. And that is to be a low-cost no-frills supplier focused on a high level of customer service for its members."