Published in Finance

Huron Capital taps former Herman Miller CEO as partner

BY MiBiz Staff Wednesday, January 23, 2019 01:10pm

Former Herman Miller Inc. President and CEO Brian Walker joined Detroit-based private equity firm Huron Capital as a partner in charge of strategic leadership for portfolio companies.

Walker, who retired from the Zeeland-based Herman Miller last August, will work with executives at portfolio companies to provide leadership, mentorship, business insight and strategic direction. He’ll “play a critical role helping Huron Capital drive operating and financial performance within its portfolio companies,” according to a statement from the firm.

Brian Walker

“Brian Walker is recognized as an outstanding leader who led the transformation of Herman Miller globally into a premium lifestyle brand, scaled the business operationally and oversaw the integration of multiple acquisitions. We are excited about the strategic leadership expertise that he brings to our firm,” Huron Capital Senior Partner Peter Mogk said in a statement. “While we have been an operationally-focused firm for several years, we believe Brian’s knowledge and guidance will make a significant impact on our portfolio.”

Huron Capital has raised more than $1.8 billion in capital across six funds an invested in more than 130 companies since forming in 1999. Among its existing portfolio companies is Indianapolis, Ind.-based Xlerate Group, which acquired Grand Rapids Auto Auction in 2015 and Schoolcraft-based Greater Kalamazoo Auto Auction in 2016.

Walker served as president and CEO of Herman Miller from 2004 until 2018, when he retired after 29 years with the company. He’s a director at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Briggs & Stratton Corp.

“I am eager to begin working with the talented professionals at Huron Capital,” Walker stated. “I have enjoyed a lengthy career primarily at one large company, and now I can apply that experience to the wide range of fascinating and diverse companies held by Huron Capital as we strive to deliver value for all of our stakeholders.”

Walker’s position is one of three Huron Capital created to accelerate growth of portfolio companies.

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