People and Business: Bouncing clever

MICHAEL COPPEL has retired as chairman of Airsprung Furniture after 30 years with the West Country-based group. Originally from Belfast, Mr Coppel joined John Yates, one of the founding members of the company, in 1969 after his own bed factory in Northern Ireland was blown up during the Troubles.

Mr Coppel helped Airsprung through its flotation and became chairman in 1993. The Yates family still owns 41 per cent of the company, based in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, which was originally founded in 1870.

Currently two members of the third generation of the Yates family help run Airsprung: Jeremy Yates is managing director of the Gainsborough beds and sofas subsidiary, while Stephen Yates is marketing director of Airsprung.

Peter Ziemniak, chief executive of Airsprung, joined in 1978 and says Mr Coppel has left the business "in good nick". A new chairman will be announced over the next week.

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