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April 24, 2019

Imperial Distributors still finalizing long-term succession plans

Photo | Google Imperial Distributors' Worcester location
Naomi Sleeper
Colleen Peloquin
Joe Kirby

After initially saying the company had developed a long-term succession plan for its CEO, Worcester distribution and merchandising firm Imperial Distributors on Wednesday said those eventual succession plans are still fluid, particularly because CEO Michael Sleeper has no immediate plan to retire.

On Wednesday, Deborah Kaufman, Imperial vice president for organizational effectiveness, said a company official misspoke to WBJ for a story published on Tuesday in saying a series of six promotions at the company included a plan for Naomi Sleeper -- the new vice president of continuous improvement and strategic initiatives and Michael Sleeper's daughter -- to eventually take over as CEO.

Imperial has no firm succession plans in place to replace Michael Sleeper, who is 76, because he has no plans to retire, said Kaufman, who is in charge of drafting the company's succession plan.

Although it is a possibility Naomi Sleeper will take over as CEO one day, Kaufman said, other possible candidates to immediately succeed Michael Sleeper include Colleen Peloquin and Joe Kirby, who were announced as Imperial's new CFO and executive vice president, respectively, this week. Peloquin and Kirby join Michael Sleeper as the top three executives at the company.

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