Herman Miller, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLHR), the global designer and furniture manufacturer, announced in August that Andi Owen has been elected by the Board of Directors to succeed Brian C. Walker as the company’s next president and chief executive officer, effective August 22, 2018. Ms. Owen was also elected to the company’s board of directors as of August 22. She joins Herman Miller after a 25-year career at Gap Inc., where she most recently served as global president of Banana Republic, leading 11,000 employees in over 600 stores across 27 countries. The appointment is part of a previously-announced leadership succession planning process.
Michael A. Volkema, chairman of the board, stated, “We are deeply grateful to Brian for his leadership and many achievements during his long career with Herman Miller. The Company remains focused on the strategy Brian put in place, which has collectively grown the business, expanded our multi-channel capabilities, and accelerated the company’s positive momentum.”
Volkema added, “Under Andi’s leadership, the business will seize opportunities that will lead to growth in new markets for both contract and consumer customers. Andi has the right gifts, talents, and expertise to accomplish this mission. She understands how to realize the potential of a brand amidst changing customer preferences and habits. We are thrilled to welcome her onboard.”
Owen’s areas of strength are highly complementary to Herman Miller’s leadership team comprised of extensive contract furniture expertise and a growing retail capability. Over her tenure at Gap Inc., her career spanned many verticals and brands within the business. She has developed a diversified skillset that aligns with the strategic direction of Herman Miller today and ranges from digital and omni-channel transformation to design, product development and supply chain management.
Art Peck, president and chief executive officer of Gap Inc., stated, “I am confident in Andi and her abilities. She had a long and successful track record across Gap’s portfolio of brands, and I am excited to see where her vision and leadership will take the iconic Herman Miller brand in the future.”
Her accomplishments include developing new “digital first” growth strategies, introducing innovative marketing and new customer acquisition strategies, and driving global expansion in key markets. Ms. Owen achieved impressive results with a focus on building people-first teams. Her values-centered approach is shared by Herman Miller.
Walker stated, “Herman Miller is only just beginning to scratch the surface of our addressable market opportunity. Andi’s experience driving results as a seasoned leader, coupled with our outstanding leadership team, will take our family of brands to the next level. This is an exciting time for the Company, and I look forward to working with Andi on a seamless transition.
Owen serves on the boards of Taylor Morrison Home Corporation (NYSE: TMHC), Goal Five, and First Place for Youth, a nonprofit supporting foster children. She holds a BA from the College of William and Mary and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.