Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about 14 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise, thanks and good wishes for Walker
  • Search for a successor
  • Walker spoke at length and said 341 words

(exechange) — Zeeland, Michigan, February 5, 2018 — Brian Walker, chief executive of Herman Miller, leaves. As announced by Herman Miller, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, February 5, 2018, Brian C. Walker leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the maker of office furniture after about 14 years in the position, effective by August 31, 2018.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.3 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 36 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 10 years.

Herman Miller will undertake a search for a successor.

“Now is the right time”

Walker’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Walker said: “[N]ow is the right time to transition the Company to its next generation of leadership.”

Precise information about Walker’s future plans was not immediately available.


Herman Miller said: “Brian C. Walker plans to retire as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors by August 31, 2018. To ensure an orderly transition, Mr. Walker will remain in those roles until the appointment of his successor.”

Share price rise since February 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Herman Miller, Inc. since February 2016.

Chaired by Michael Volkema

Herman Miller, Inc. is chaired by Michael Volkema.

Volkema has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Herman Miller, Inc. since 2000.

In the position of CEO since 2004

Brian C. Walker has been the Chief Executive Officer of Herman Miller, Inc. since July 26, 2004 and has been its President since March 2003.

Previously, he held other executive leadership positions with the Company having served as the Chief Operating Officer of Herman Miller Inc., President of Herman Miller North America and Chief Financial Officer.

Walker is a Certified Public Accountant and serves as the lead director and chairs the Compensation Committee of Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

Should the Board appoint a new CEO prior to August 31, 2018, then Walker has agreed to remain as a special advisor to the Chairman of the Board through that date.


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step down with no successor available, it’s a sign that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Brian Walker’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 7.2018 ($).