Elkay Manufacturing, an American-owned and operated manufacturer of plumbing and water delivery products and parent of Elkay Interior Systems, a global interior design and manufacturing company, and Elkay Commercial Systems, a stainless steel commercial kitchen products business, today announced that President and CEO Tim Jahnke, who has led the company since 2007, plans to retire from day-to-day leadership to concentrate on his role on Elkay's Board of Directors. Ric Phillips has been named by Elkay's Board to succeed Tim as president and chief executive officer.
Phillips is a seasoned senior executive with deep experience developing strategy, driving execution, negotiating transactions and positively impacting organizational culture. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Essendant (formerly United Stationers), Ric rebuilt the company’s overall strategy and oversaw the largest restructuring in its history. He consistently delivered performance at or above the company’s Wall Street guidance, and the company’s share price increased by more than 50% during his tenure. He planned, negotiated and announced an industry-changing merger with a major competitor and ultimately navigated the company to a successful combination in January 2019.
Before his promotion to CEO, Phillips was president of Essendant's ORS Nasco Industrial business and also group president of the company's Industrial Portfolio. He joined Essendant in 2013 as president of online and new channels.
Prior to joining Essendant in 2013, Phillips spent 14 years at McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm. He was elected partner at McKinsey in 2005.
“Our company is family-owned and professionally-managed,” stated Ron Katz, Elkay’s chairman of the board of directors. “We have always strived to find company leaders — whether from within the company or professionals from outside — who are the best people for their leadership roles. For the past 12 years, Tim Jahnke has been a sterling example of a professional leader who has led the company masterfully while consistently exemplifying our values. As Tim steps away from day-to-day leadership and more fully into his position on the Board, it is a pleasure that a leader of Ric’s caliber has agreed to join our company in this key leadership role as president and CEO. I have every confidence in his ability to lead our company forward.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have attracted such a high caliber chief executive with strong credentials and remarkable experience,” said Jahnke. “Ric has a distinguished background in developing and executing high-performance business strategies across a wide variety of business sectors. His unwavering commitment to customer focus, respectful and inspirational leadership style and well-earned reputation for building high-performance teams make it easy to confidently pass the torch as I step more fully into my position on Elkay's Board. I know that under Ric's stewardship, Elkay will continue on our path of accelerated growth and exceptional financial performance."
“It is an exciting time to join Elkay, and I feel honored to fill this important role at such a pivotal moment in the company's history,” Phillips said. “Elkay is a vibrant, rapidly-growing global enterprise spanning multiple industries that also happens to be turning 100 years old in January 2020. I look forward to celebrating this remarkable milestone and working with the company’s 2,500 employees around the world to continue advancing our ingenuity and innovation, and providing world-class service to an ever-expanding set of global customers."