MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Stephen Donly, president of TruGreen LawnCare has resigned from the company.
According to ServiceMaster’s first quarter filings with the SEC, Donly resigned effective May 12, but will remain an employee until June 1.
The move comes just weeks after the firm’s parent company, ServiceMaster, sold its historically underperforming commercial landscape division to a private equity firm.
Thomas Brackett, president and COO of Terminix, will head up the lawn care business until a replacement is found.
Donly joined TruGreen as president and COO in March of 2009. Prior to his work in the green industry, he worked in various executive capacities in the technology and supply chain management sectors.
ServiceMaster spokesperson, Chris Curran, said Donly was not forced out, and the company has begun an internal and external search for a new president.
"Steve decided to resign from the company for personal reasons," Curran said. "We appreciate Steve’s contributions to ServiceMaster and his commitment to the TruGreen brand."
Though Donly's resignation comes at the busiest time of the year for lawn care operators, Curran said Brackett's experiences with Terminix will provide stability through the transition.
"ServiceMaster CEO Hank Mullany has asked Tom to immediately identify opportunities to accelerate best-practice sharing between Terminix and TruGreen to help achieve our vision of being a rapidly-growing, best-in-class service provider and the best place to work and invest," Curran said.
Donly is the third executive to leave ServiceMaster this year. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Steven Martin resigned from the company effective April 29, according to the Memphis Daily News.
David Martin was appointed as interim chief financial officer, while an external search for a permanent replacement takes place. Martin has served as the company’s senior vice president and controller since 2007 and chief accounting officer since 2010.
J. Patrick Spainhour retired as CEO of ServiceMaster in March. He was replaced by Hank Mullany.
TruGreen LawnCare reported a 9.8 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same time last year, according to the filings.
First quarter customer rolls were down 3.6 percent, but the company cites higher prices, earlier starts in certain regions and higher sales of ice melt and other expanded services as offsetting the drop.
"It’s true that TruGreen’s performance has not been where we need it to be, but even with Steve’s decision to resign, we’re going to continue to work hard to meet our goals and grow our business rapidly by transforming our customers’ experience," Curran said.
The author is editor of Lawn & Landscape, PCT's sister publication.