Posted on 5/6/2020 7:00:00 PM by Legrand AV Team
In May, 2005 – 15 years ago, almost to the day – I had the unexpected honor of my career: being named CEO of Chief Manufacturing, a business I was introduced to as a Parthenon-EY consultant to FFL Partners. FFL had acquired the Chief business in 2003, and I had joined in early 2004.
What a ride it’s been.
Specifically, it’s been three major strategic acquisitions (and several smaller ones), three corporate name changes, one thankfully withdrawn IPO, two office HQ moves, five new international subsidiaries, 22 times the employees, and all culminating in the strategic acquisition of the business by Legrand in 2017. All of that was coupled with a 20% annualized growth from 2003-2019 as our amazing team consistently delivered innovation and exceptional service to a growing base of global customers.
What was once Chief is now together with a host of leading brands that make up Legrand | AV: An Audio- Video powerhouse within the global Legrand business.
Fifteen years of having the privilege of leading this continuously evolving business simultaneously feels like forever and just the blink of an eye. As many wise people have said: “The days are long, but the years are short.” After helping the team deliver on our post-transaction sales growth commitments in 2018, and then working in 2019 to bring together the various existing and new-to-Legrand brands focused on AV applications, the time is truly right for me to move on.
I sincerely believe in the Legrand leadership team and in the future of the business; it’s in good hands and now in close range to our seemingly crazy, audacious $1B AV sales goal from many years ago.
I can’t thank the customers and teammates enough that made this amazing journey possible. It has been my privilege to work alongside each one of you, building an enduring growth enterprise on a foundation of trust, shared commitment, and delivering real value to commercial and residential AV customers. I’m particularly thankful to Steve Durkee, whom I’ve worked alongside for 16 years - and who will now run the AV Division of Legrand, North & Central America as President. Congratulations, Steve!
Of course, I could not have imagined the global COVID-19 crisis when I set out on this transition and succession plan earlier this year. But I have every confidence in Steve and the rest of the Legrand | AV leadership team as they navigate this crisis into a brighter future ahead.
My next adventure is surprisingly close at hand – that was honestly not my initial plan – but I’ll leave that update for another day. I look forward to connecting with many of you over the course of 2020 and beyond.
Take care and stay safe!