Steelcase appoints VP of global design

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Michael Held. Photo by Chris Mueller

A local office furniture maker appointed a new head of global design.

Grand Rapids-based Steelcase said Friday, May 20, it promoted Michael Held to vice president of global design from his previous role as global furniture design director.

Held succeeds James Ludwig, who retired in late 2021 after 22 years with the organization.

In his new role, Held will lead the go-to-market leadership team and the global design studio as Steelcase continues to evolve its product development and launch process.

“In addition to his deep, cross-functional experience across industries and the entire product development cycle, Michael also brings a true global lens, which will be an integral part of his role,” said Allan Smith, chief revenue officer for Steelcase. “I’m particularly excited about his special ability to bring diverse personal and design perspectives together and look forward to his impact across the company as we seek to lead the hybrid work transformation.”

Held brings more than 18 years of experience in design, including the past eight years at Steelcase. Prior to joining Steelcase, he managed product design at Phillips Consumer Electronics Company. His career has taken him around the world, with former roles in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Switzerland.

“This is an exciting time for design at Steelcase, and I am grateful to be part of it,” Held said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to lead the industry by developing new products to help our customers navigate hybrid work, promote innovation and move the business forward.”

After spending the past eight years serving Steelcase in Munich, Held and his family will relocate to Grand Rapids for his new role.

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