Apria shakes up management, eyes growth

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Apria named Jeff Ingram executive vice president, sales, in late November. He previously served as Apria's senior vice president, national accounts. Ingram's goal: to ramp up organic growth, according to a company official.
"With Jeff leading the entire sales force, and using new programs and traditional sales efforts, we expect better organic growth on all levels," said Lisa Getson, Apria's executive vice president, business development and clinical services.
New programs include a clinical marketing program to help the sales team differentiate the company from its competitors, Getson said.
The company also reorganized its sales divisions into three geographic regions instead of four--a move designed to save on overhead and infrastructure costs. "We're positioning the company to get a strong start in 2006," she said.
The shake up comes as no surprise to industry sources. In late October, Apria took down its for sale sign and reported a growth rate of 1%. (The company's goal was, and continues to be, the industry growth rate of 5% to 7%, Getson said.)
Apria needs to jump start organic growth and "wake up" its sales team, said one industry source. "They've signed some big contracts and negotiated others at better rates, and that's going to go into their organic growth numbers," he said. "But how do you wake up thousands of sales people to go after the referral?"
Apria also named Daniel Stark to the newly created position of executive vice president, customer services. He previously served as executive vice president, business operations.
Anthony Domenico, executive vice president, sales, and John McDowell, executive vice president, logistics, both left the company.