A veteran of the office furniture industry was recently named president and chief executive officer of Pewaukee-based M&M Office Interiorsafter he and a group of local investors acquired the company. Peter Kordus, who spent 30 years at Pewaukee-based office furniture retailer Building Service Inc., including 18 years as its president and chief operating officer, was chosen to succeed former M&M owner and operator Tim Rudd as its new leader. Rudd will remain with the company as principal and will be responsible for managing and growing its sales team. After leaving BSI in 2017, Kordus began exploring acquisition opportunities in a variety of industries. He ended up running into Rudd, whom he had known for over 20 years. “He was looking for a transition plan, and I was it,” Kordus said. Finalizing the deal took longer than expected due to pandemic-related disruptions. Kordus and Rudd had already started the due diligence process prior to the pandemic’s onset. “We paused,” Kordus said. “It was going to be a quick shutdown and then back to business. We said ‘pause,’ and we ended up pausing through a year and a half of the pandemic.” As offices closed and employees were sent home, the office furniture industry took a hit. Sales dropped at M&M. But the business has begun seeing a rebound in recent months, Kordus said. The acquisition closed Sept. 30. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The deal has brought together two former competitors, which will only serve to benefit the company, Kordus said. “Really, the positive thing for our employees and clients is that both Tim and I are very strategic,” Kordus said. “We’ve competed against each other, and now we’re putting our heads together and are going to be a strong force in the market.” He also sees opportunities for growth in the market. “There is a shift going on. More flexibility is wanted by a lot of employers and employees. … The thing I’ve heard over and over is ‘dedensification.’ People may say footprints of offices are shrinking -- they aren’t necessarily shrinking their space, but they are moving people further apart and creating social distance,” he said. “Any time there’s a shift like that, it’s an opportunity for companies like us to help clients remodel and change their office.” Employers are also looking to office furniture as part of the larger strategy to draw employees out of their home and back to the office. “I do think workplace is central to creating culture within a company to facilitate communication and collaboration, and long-term, the creativity of a company relies on that collaboration and communication,” Kordus said. “The only way that happens is in person. You can use Zoom for a little while, but eventually it’s not equal to live conversation or the rich conversation that goes on between coworkers when they’re collaborating.”
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