GRAND RAPIDS, MI– Steelcase CEO James Hackett announced he will retire after nearly two decades at the helm of the contract furniture giant. Hackett will remain in his current position at Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) until Feb. 28, 2014, after which he will become the vice chair for a year. He will also continue as a member of the board of directors.
“Jim Hackett helped change the conversation at Steelcase from merely selling office environments to providing insights about how spaces can impact performance,” Steelcase Board Chair Rob Pew said in a statement. “He adopted design, and design thinking, as core beliefs and spread them throughout the company. In his 19 years as the CEO, Jim has led the company through some difficult times as well as periods of growth. We appreciate his calm hand on the tiller.”
Hackett became CEO at Steelcase in December 1994. “I couldn’t be happier about what Steelcase has become and where we’re headed,” Hackett said in a statement. “But it’s time to provide opportunity to others, and time for me to pursue some other interests. While continuing to run the company with as much energy and excitement as I did when I took the role in 1994, I’ll also ready myself for the next chapter in my life.”
Although the company has not yet named a new CEO, Pew said there was a succession process in place. In April, Steelcase COO James Keane was also named the company's president and elected by the Steelcase Board of Directors as a member of the board.
A global provider of office and healthcare furniture, Steelcase posted a fiscal 2013 revenue of $2.9 billion. Brands include: Steelcase, Coalesse, Designtex, Details, Nurture, PolyVision and Turnstone.