Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

October 11, 2013

Steelcase names Keane as new CEO

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Office furniture maker Steelcase has named President and Chief Operating Officer James Keane as its next CEO.

Keane will succeed James Hackett, who announced in July that he planned to retire from the post.

Keane’s appointment is effective in March, which is the start of Steelcase’s next fiscal year.

Hackett will take on the newly created role of vice chair for one year. He will also remain as a board member.

Hackett became CEO of Steelcase in December 1994. He served as president from 1994 until April, according to the company’s website.

Keane has worked at Steelcase Inc. for 16 years. He was named president in April and has served as COO since November 2012. Keane has led research and development, corporate strategy, information technology and finance at various times during his tenure at Steelcase and took charge of the Steelcase brand in North America in 2006.

Last month Steelcase reported that its second-quarter net income dropped 6 percent, hurt by restructuring costs and softness in Europe. The performance missed analysts’ expectations.

Shares of the Grand Rapids company gained 32 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $15.32 in afternoon trading. That is near their 52-week high of $16.88 on Oct. 2. They traded as low as $9.85 almost a year ago.

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