After nearly two decades as the Chief Executive Officer of Steelcase Inc., James P. Hackett today announced his plans for retirement.
During the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Hackett said he will remain in his current position until February 28, 2014, the end of the company’s fiscal year, and then take a new position as vice chair for an additional 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,” says Rob Pew, board chair, Steelcase Inc. “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.”
Pew adds, “With Jim continuing in his role for more than seven months, we are not naming a new CEO at this time but we have a succession process in place.”
WATCH: Steelcase explores the future of video in the workplace in the I&S Media Center.
Hackett became CEO in December of 1994 after holding a variety of sales and leadership positions in the company. He helped to transform Steelcase’s business model, expanded its global perspective and presence, and championed life-long learning. He introduced the company’s current critical thinking model and personally taught the key principles of that model to hundreds of Steelcase leaders.
“I couldn’t be happier about what Steelcase has become and where we’re headed,” says Hackett. “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.”