Danze and Gerber Plumbing Fixtures have announced that Michael Werner has stepped down from his role as president and CEO of Globe Union Group Inc., including its Gerber and Danze businesses, effective immediately. Werner will continue as a consultant for the next several months to ensure a smooth transition.

As a long-time entrepreneur and strategic visionary, Werner joined the company to help Globe Union build a robust branded business through acquisitions and organic growth. In his 13-year tenure, he has achieved that and more, as Gerber and Danze are now leading participants in the kitchen and bath industry.

“Being a positive force” is both Michael’s and Globe Union’s core value, and Werner brought this guiding principle to life by creating the Team Danze cycling group to raise money for various charities, including Denver Children’s Hospital, and launching Operation Rise & Conquer, through which our industry and others have raised more than $1 million to enable severely injured military veterans to regain trust in their bodies through a week of adaptive sports therapy in Colorado. Werner has also been on the Board of the NKBA and the ASA Vendor Division.

“I’m thrilled to have been part of the growth of Globe Union and to have made so many friends in our wonderful industry,” said Werner. “We’ve accomplished a lot together — both as a business and as a partner in the communities we serve. I’m ready for my next chapter and excited about pursuing other philanthropic and business interests.” He is a 10-year lymphoma survivor and on the top of his priority list will be a new role as Chairman-elect of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, where he intends to accelerate investments in innovative research to find better treatments for this deadly cancer.

Keith Yurko, currently vice president of Globe Union’s Private Label business, will now assume leadership duties. “Gerber and Danze have both grown into industry leaders with incredible futures,” said Yurko. “I’m looking forward to diving back into the Branded side of our
business and working with our strong and dedicated people. 

“Our leadership, sales and marketing teams are highly competent, and we don’t foresee any changes to personnel or strategic direction.”

Yurko will assume his new role in addition to his present responsibilities. He brings several decades of industry experience to the position, including as Globe Union’s first employee in North America, 20 years with the company. His experiences span operations, product development, and sales and marketing, as well as engineering, quality and manufacturing.