Steelcase: James Hackett (CEO)
You might not have heard of him, but it does not mean you are not sitting on one of his products right now. Steelcase is the world’s largest office furniture maker. At the end of 1994, Steelcase reported a $70 million loss. About the same time, Hackett took charge of the company and corrected Steelcase’s course. In 2012, Steelcase reported a profit of $56.7 million on sales of $2.75 billion. Steelcase’s success story is partially due to Hackett’s vision for integrating technology into the company’s products. As a result of the modernization, he downsized 12,000 jobs. The other factor in the success story is the way Hackett transformed Steelcase’s business model, altering the company’s global perspective, and creating a learning organization. Steelcase will now need another leader who can navigate them through these ever changing technological times and uncertain economic climates.