KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Stephen Chen, president of mattress manufacturer Mlily USA, died Friday evening following an illness he had suffered the past several weeks, the company said. He was 59.
“The Mlily family mourns the death of Stephen,” said Suns Jian, CEO. “He was a wonderful man, husband, father and a treasured member of our team. He will be sorely missed. Stephen was the face of Mlily USA and had a passion for the brand. We will honor him by continuing that passion with our commitment to our team, staff, customers and community to grow the company in the way Stephen envisioned it to grow. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
The company said the senior management team had assumed Chen’s responsibilities in the recent weeks he had become ill.
A graduate of Purdue University, Chen joined the Rugao, China-based manufacturer of memory foam mattresses and pillows in 2014, holding a number of roles including director, business development; vice president, sales and vice president. He was named president in May 2019 and was credited with leading Mlily’s growth these pass several years including expanding its retail base from a handful of independent dealers to more multi-store chains and regional players.
Before joining the company, he spent 25 years in the telecommunications industry where he also held a number of sales, sales management and customer service posts and also overseeing B2B sales and marketing of telecommunications and managed IT products. This included just over seven years of service at B2B telecommunications products specialist Windstream Communications. He also was previously an area sales manager at Access Integrated Networks and was also a branch manager at Momentum Business Solutions and BTI Communications.
He is survived by his wife, Patty, and their five children and four grandchildren. Funeral details will be forthcoming.