After 10 years as chief executive officer of family-owned Downlite, James Lape is retiring and passing his torch to Josh Werthaiser, former Downlite CFO. While this executive shift takes effect immediately, Lape will remain on the board and continue to be a company advocate.
Lape joined Downlite in 2007 after 25 years with Levi Strauss where he held several senior executive positions. Under his leadership at Downlite, the company has achieved consecutive double-digit growth and become a leading supplier of responsibly-sourced fills for the outdoor market. Lape also played a pivotal role as mentor to Downlite’s second generation, guiding them through the ranks of succession.
“Even after 25 years at Levi Strauss both domestically and internationally, my leadership role at Downlite has been the most rewarding,” said Lape. “Downlite is an incredible family business with great employees, and strength in distribution and product. I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Werthaiser joined Downlite in 2001 as the first Gen2 to enter the company. During his tenure, he has worked in nearly every department within the company ranging from sales and marketing, pricing, feather and down sourcing and trend analysis/inventory management. In 2008, Werthaiser transitioned into his role as CFO, overseeing the financial affairs and initiating the sustainability initiatives of the company.
Taking a hard look at the retail environment, Downlite has put its first strategic plan in motion under the new leadership. The company has developed a new organizational structure that it says better aligns with its customer needs – offering improved communication and customer service for its retail partners.
The following organizational structure takes place immediately:
Josh Werthaiser moves to CEO in charge of Downlite business
Dave Lueder becomes CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) responsible for all home and hospitality sales reporting to CEO
Stefan Hunter becomes VP of E Commerce reporting to CRO
Brian Parnes becomes CIO/CMO as leader of all IT and Marketing reporting to CEO
Jyl Davis becomes VP of Marketing & Product Management reporting to CIO/CMO
Chad Altbaier remains VP of Outdoor reporting to CEO
Frank Carella becomes VP of Operations reporting to CEO
Chuck Northcutt remains VP of QA reporting to VP of Operations
Zach Zellner remains VP of Sourcing reporting to CEO
Sandy Coleman remains Director of HR reporting to CEO
Jim Donaghy becomes VP of Finance & Accounting reporting to CEO
Larry Werthaiser, Owner, and Bob Altbaier, Owner, remain active and on the Board