Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker to retire
February 6, 2018 | 9:19 am CST
Brian Walker

ZEELAND. Mich. -  Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker has announced he will retire from the global contract furniture giant by Aug. 31.

“After a terrific 29-year career at Herman Miller, including 14 years as president and CEO, now is the right time to transition the company to its next generation of leadership,”  Walker said

“Over the past 10 years, we have been relentlessly focused on expanding our addressable market and developing the building blocks necessary to navigate the changes we predicted would impact the core office furniture marketplace. Our Living Office strategy has repositioned the company to lead in this new workplace era, and we have significantly expanded our potential for long-term growth by developing a strong global footprint and moving beyond the office to help people create inspiring places to heal, learn and live. Our global network of contract dealers, retail studios and e-commerce is unique and provides a significant competitive advantage. Today, Herman Miller comprises a group of leading brands united by our focus on innovation and human centered design,” he added.

Walker will remain in his roles until a successor is appointed. A CEO Search Committee has been formed and the Board is working with an executive search firm for candidates.

Michael Volkema, executive chairman of Herman Miller, said, “On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Brian for his countless contributions to Herman Miller over the past 29 years. His deep commitment and remarkable leadership have enabled Herman Miller to become the global industry leader it is today. During Brian’s tenure, Herman Miller has become a lean enterprise that keeps its promises and strives to improve each and every day."

In recognition of his efforts, Walker was named a Wood Industry Market Leader in 2010.

Walker added, “I want to thank our talented Executive Leadership Team and the 8,000 employees who make Herman Miller great. We are fortunate to have a deep bench of leaders and some of the best employees in the industry throughout the organization, and I am confident that Herman Miller is well-positioned for continued growth. It has been an honor to serve this company, and I look forward to working closely with the Board and my successor to ensure a seamless transition for all of our stakeholders.”

In the same statement, Herman Miller also reaffirmed its fiscal 2018 Q3 sales forecast, expected to be in the range of $565 million to $585 million. The company said the updated earnings guidance reflects the impact of new U.S. income tax legislation as well as transition expenses and other special charges expected to be recognized in the quarter.

Headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, the 112-year-old Herman Miller (Nasdaq: MLHR) generated $2.28 billion in revenue last fiscal year and employed nearly 8,000 people worldwide. The company ranked #6 on the latest FDMC 300 listing of the top wood products manufacturers in North America. The FDMC 300 was published in the February 2018 edition of FDMC magazine.


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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]