Although Franco Bianchi did not originally envision a career in the contract and healthcare furniture industry, he quickly found his niche.
“With a background in consulting on mergers, acquisitions and re-engineering, I found my way to Haworth in Europe through the sale of Castelli to Haworth in 1992,” says the CEO and president of the Holland, MI-based furniture giant. “The fact that the two family-owned companies found compatibility and shared dedication to craftsmanship helped me understand how Haworth could be more and more successful.”
Bianchi’s leadership has helped the company stay its course, despite the economic turmoil of the past few years. “When these fluctuations happen, there is a temptation to second guess your plans and progress. This year has been successful for us because we’ve worked very hard on our strategy and executed flawlessly.”
Though the economy looks to remain volatile, he adds. “We will continue to work our plan, continue to deliver integrated and innovative products and strengthen our foundations for superior market share growth. Flexibility is becoming more and more important so we can be as agile as the market.”
Adroit at identifying trends in the industry, Bianchi also notes, “Our customers are continuously involving us on how to create an agile environment which integrates technology, optimizes real estate and enhances problem solving and collaboration.” He is also quick to credit Haworth’s employees and dealers with the company’s success. “As a global organization, I get to work with over 6,000 people towards a common goal and I am always proud of what we are creating. I’m also thrilled to have been part of a company that has had a strong brand and market recognition during recent years – certainly highlighted by the success of our integrated plan.”
In addition to serving the needs of Haworth, Bianchi values the time spent with his family and being near the lake. Proficient in English and French, as well as Italian, in his spare time Bianchi also enjoys reading, exercising and art.
• Education: Degree in business and administration from Bologna University, Italy
• Years at the company: 19
• Years in the industry: 20
• Word that best describes you: Intense
• The best advice received: My 13 year old son shared with me the
following: If you are passionate about your job and you have the trust of your shareholders and your team, you will not “work” one day in your life. Because, it will look like fun, not just a job.
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