Steelcase CEO Keane to retire, Sara Armbruster gets the job
June 1, 2021 | 9:50 am CDT
Sara Armbruster is Steelcase's next CEO

Sara Armbruster is Steelcase's next CEO.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The CEO of North America's largest contract furniture manufacturer has announced his retirement.

Steelcase CEO and President Jim Keane will retire in January 2022 after 25 years with the company. Keane has been CEO for the past seven years.

Replacing Keane will be 50-year-old Sara Armbruster, who currently serves as executive VP and board member.

Jim Keane will retire in January 2022.
Jim Keane will retire in January 2022.

“The Board of Directors and I would like to thank Jim for his incredible leadership as CEO these past seven years and dedication to Steelcase the past quarter of a century,” said Rob Pew, Chair of the Steelcase Board of Directors. “Under his leadership, the company has experienced tremendous levels of innovation and growth. Jim led the business through the recent global crisis and leaves Steelcase in a strong strategic and financial position. We wish him the best in his retirement.”  

“I have never been more excited about the future of Steelcase,” said Keane. “Still, after 25 years, it’s the right time for me to move forward, and with the crisis ending, the recovery taking shape, and a number of innovative new products ready to go, it will be the perfect time for the company to welcome a new CEO.” 

“I’m delighted Sara has been chosen by the Board as our next CEO,” said Keane. “All along, I’ve relied on Sara as my partner in developing strategy, and more recently I turned to her to lead us through crises. She is a well-respected people leader with a deep commitment to the values that make Steelcase a great place to work.”   

“I am truly honored to accept this new role and grateful for the 14 years I worked closely with Jim Keane,” said Armbruster. “I’m proud to work alongside our strong senior leadership and incredibly talented, committed teams around the world. This is an important moment of growth for our company as the places where people work and learn are being reimagined. Thanks to Jim, Steelcase is tremendously well positioned at a time when leadership in shaping the future of work is critical.” 

Armbruster will be the company's 10th CEO in its 109-year history.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at