Sara Armbruster becomes Steelcase president and CEO

Sara Armbruster. Courtesy Steelcase

Sara Armbruster became the 10th CEO in the 109-year history of Steelcase on Monday, Oct. 4.

Armbruster succeeds Jim Keane, who previously announced his plan to retire in January 2022. Keane will continue at Steelcase as vice chair until his retirement from the company.

Armbruster brings more than two decades of experience in corporate strategy and business innovation. Since joining Steelcase in 2007, she has held global executive leadership roles in multiple businesses, including Steelcase Education, Steelcase Health and PolyVision Corporation. Armbruster has a track record of delivering growth and innovation through strategic, results-oriented leadership, Steelcase said. Her diverse responsibilities have included leading information technology, global design research, new business initiatives and the company’s global COVID-19 crisis response team.

“Sara’s leadership and experience in user-centered design clearly make her the ideal choice to lead Steelcase as CEO,” said Rob Pew, Steelcase board chair. “Sara has an uncanny ability to see around corners, which is just what our customers need as they explore the many ways work and workplaces have changed in the past two years. She will build on the strong foundation established by Jim Keane to lead an exemplary, global management team into the next era of Steelcase.”

Armbruster said she is honored to be stepping into the furniture maker’s top leadership role.

“Organizations are exploring the new ways work is happening, and we’re at the center of those discussions,” she said. “We believe the office continues to be critical to culture and innovation — and we believe better is possible. We’re delighted to help our customers improve their experience with work no matter where, or how, that happens.”

As CEO, Armbruster will focus on global growth strategies designed to meet evolving customer needs and will continue the company’s work in environmental, social and governance issues. Steelcase recently released its 2021 Impact Report, which shares progress made against goals in each of these areas, along with the company’s vision to use business as a force for good.

“There is an incredible energy within our organization,” Armbruster said. “We’re united in purpose, focused on our strategic vision and well-positioned to serve our customers around the world. I can’t think of a more compelling time to step into the role of CEO.”

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