Grainger Clarifies CEO Succession Plan

The board of directors at W.W. Grainger, Lincolnshire, Ill., approved Jim Ryan's nomination of DG Macpherson to succeed him as chief executive officer of the industrial MRO distribution powerhouse. Macpherson is currently chief operating officer and will become CEO and a member of the board effective October 1, 2016.

Grainger said in a release that Macpherson's move into the CEO role is the penultimate step in the multiyear succession process and will conclude with Macpherson taking on the chairman role upon Ryan's retirement. Macpherson's appointment as COO in 2015 was part of the company's succession process, so no replacement COO will be named.

Ryan's transition will bring to a close a 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, in the Grainger release. “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.”

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.

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