Human Resources and Manufacturing

Steelcase names CEO

October 10, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Steelcase names CEO
James Keane. Courtesy Steelcase

Steelcase has named the manufacturing executive who will succeed longtime CEO James Hackett in March 2014, the start of the office furniture maker’s next fiscal year.

Succession change

Steelcase has appointed James P. Keane, a 16-year veteran of Steelcase, CEO

Keane, 54, is Steelcase’s president and COO and responsible for product development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of all Steelcase brands around the world.

"Throughout his 16 years at the company, Jim has proven to be a strong leader with a passion for winning and a deep understanding of the business," said Rob Pew, Steelcase board chair. "His creativity and strategic execution make him a great steward of the Steelcase legacy and the right choice to lead Steelcase into a future of continued growth and tremendous technological change."

Keane’s background

At various times in his career at Steelcase, Keane led research and development, corporate strategy, information technology and finance, before taking over as head of the Steelcase brand in North America in 2006.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Steelcase,” Keane said. “I've learned a lot by working with Jim Hackett, as he guided the company through significant changes in the world of work.”

Keane, a Chicago native, earned a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Illinois and a master's in management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Keane is on the boards of Rockwell Automation, IDEO and the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association.

Hackett’s new role

Hackett, who has been CEO since 1994, announced in July that he will be stepping down on Feb. 28, 2014, the last day of the company’s current fiscal year.

He will then assume a new position at Steelcase as vice chair for a year and will continue as a member of the board of directors.

Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) reported sales in FY2013 of $2.9 billion.

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