ZEELAND — Andi Owen will become the first female president and CEO to lead Herman Miller Inc.
The Zeeland-based office furniture manufacturer announced today that Owen will take over the position effective Aug. 22 as Brian Walker retires after 29 years with the company.
Owen joins Herman Miller (Nasdaq: MLHR) after a 25-year career at retailing giant Gap Inc., where she served at global president of operations for its Banana Republic division.
“It is a privilege to lead the Company and continue the evolution of its world class portfolio of brands,” Owen said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with the management team and the broader organization to build upon the legacy of innovation and design excellence that is at the heart of Herman Miller.”
According to Michael Volkema, chairman of the Herman Miller’s board of directors, Owen has the “right gifts, talents, and expertise to accomplish this mission.”
“Under Andi’s leadership, the business will seize opportunities that will lead to growth in new markets for both contract and consumer customers,” Volkema stated.
Owen’s tenure with Banana Republic included leading the $2.8 billion company in “all facets of this global omni-channel division.” Her prior responsibilities included running the global outlet division for Gap, developing the product pipeline to increase product standards, launching a Gap Factory Store Division in China and Europe, and creating a “digital-first” business structure, according to a statement.
Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens said the community is “thrilled to welcome Ms. Owen to the lakeshore region.”
“It is no surprise that a global leader and community champion like Herman Miller attracted a CEO with such an impressive background,” Lakeshore’s Owens wrote in an email to MiBiz. “Our strong group of female community and business leaders can’t wait to welcome her to our region.”
For his part, Walker promised a smooth transition for the company, and praised Owen as a “seasoned leader” who will take Herman Miller’s brands “to the next level.”
“Herman Miller is only just beginning to scratch the surface of our addressable market opportunity,” Walker said in a statement.