Steelcase turns to Armbruster as next ceo

Office and education furniture giant Steelcase has recruited from within for its next ceo.

Jim Keane is to retire on 7 January 2022, after 25 years with the $2.6bn turnover company, including more than seven years as ceo. He will remain president and ceo until 4 October, when he will become vice chair and will serve in that role until his retirement from the company.

Sara Armbruster, who has been appointed executive vice president and a director, will take over as president and ceo on 4 October.

Keane, 61, joined the company in 1997. During this time, he held positions including coo and cfo. In his time with the company, he led global teams responsible for corporate strategy, IT, research, product development, design, engineering, manufacturing, sales, and distribution and transformed the company into a globally integrated enterprise, curating a strong organisational culture of rapid and decentralised decision-making.

Since joining the company in 2007, Armbruster, 50, has led corporate strategy and acquisition activities. She has additionally led multiple businesses at Steelcase, including Steelcase Education, Steelcase Health and PolyVision Corporation. Her diverse responsibilities include leading information technology, global design research, new business initiatives, and the company’s COVID global crisis response team.

‘I have never been more excited about the future of Steelcase,’ says 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 am truly honoured to accept this new role and grateful for the 14 years I worked closely with Jim Keane,” says 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.’



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