Grainger Announces Next CEO

DG Macpherson will become CEO and a member of the board effective Oct. 1, 2016. Macpherson is now chief operating officer and will become the fifth CEO in the company's history.

Grainger has posted an announcement of its next CEO, with Jim Ryan, currently serving as chairman, president, and CEO, announcing the company's board of directors has approved his nomination of DG Macpherson to become CEO and a member of the board effective Oct. 1, 2016. Macpherson is now chief operating officer and will become the fifth CEO in the company's history.

Ryan is retiring as of the effective date but will continue serving as chairman of the board.

Macpherson became the COO in 2015 "as part of the CEO succession process and as such, no replacement COO will be named," the announcement states, adding that "Ryan's transition will bring to a close a remarkable career of nearly 36 years of continuous service and eight years as CEO."

"Jim Ryan, only the fourth CEO in the company's 89-year history, has done an outstanding job leading Grainger through both growing and challenging economic times, as well as during market transitions," said Stu Levenick, lead director of the board. "The board is incredibly grateful for his innumerable contributions to the company and his distinguished tenure as CEO, and we look forward to his continued leadership as chairman during this succession process. Under Jim's leadership, Grainger transitioned from largely a bricks-and-mortar industrial supplier to a leading-edge digital company with multiple channels to meet the changing needs of businesses and institutions."

"I've been privileged to work at Grainger for my entire career," Ryan said. "This is a company full of smart, hard-working, committed, and service-oriented people. I have always felt a significant sense of responsibility to help Grainger succeed so our teammates and customers can be successful. I've worked with DG for many years and I'm confident that he is the right person for this job and now is the right time for this transition. We have a sound business, a solid strategy, a competitive advantage, and a long-term plan in place to extend our leadership in this industry. DG has been instrumental, with the rest of our leadership team, in getting us to this point, and he is ready to take us forward."

During Ryan's tenure as CEO, which began in 2008, Grainger's revenue has grown from $5.9 billion in 2008 to $10 billion in 2015, with earnings per share increasing nearly twice as fast during that period.

"Grainger is a company with an extraordinary history and an incredibly bright future, and it is my privilege to guide our 23,000 team members worldwide in support of our purpose of helping professionals keep their operations running and their people safe, while creating a company where dedicated, talented people can thrive," Macpherson said. "I'm humbled to take on this role and am incredibly grateful to Jim and the board for their mentorship and support in preparing me for this responsibility."

The announcement says Macpherson "joined Grainger in 2008 after working closely with Grainger for six years as a partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group, where he was a member of the Industrial Goods Leadership Team," adding that he has a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

No other executive changes are planned at this time, it states.

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