Economy

Asha Morgan steps down from Creative Memories

Asha Morgan has stepped down from the leadership of Creative Memories, the St. Cloud, Minn., subsidiary of The Antioch Company, according to an April 7 article in the St. Cloud Times. The leadership change is the first time since The Antioch Company was founded in 1926 by Morgan’s grandfather, Ernest Morgan, that the company has not been led by a member of the Morgan family. Asha Morgan is the daughter of Lee Morgan, the company’s longtime president and chief executive officer who retired in 2008.

For many years the producer of bookplates, The Antioch Company acquired Creative Memories in the 1980s to become one of the world’s largest direct-sales scrapbook and accessory suppliers, operating facilities in both St. Cloud and Yellow Springs. However, a combination of factors, including overleveraging following a restructuring and the rise of digital photography, led to the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2008. While The Antioch Company emerged from bankruptcy in February 2009, current and former employees of the employee-owned company lost from $50 to $80 million in retirement funds. The company is facing lawsuits from two groups of employees who charge that The Antioch Company’s leaders benefitted financially from the company’s demise.

The leadership change was instigated by the company’s board of directors, who have appointed former Chief Operating Officer Chris Veit as the company’s new leader. The board, on which the company’s senior lending banks have a majority, have not at this time given a reason for the shake-up. Veit was brought in to the company about a year ago

Morgan was offered a different position with the company, but declined the offer, according to the article. She stated that she plans to take a few months to enjoy time with her family, and does not yet know her future plans.

For a more detailed story, see the April 15 News.

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