Newell Brands announced changes to its Board of Directors as part of its “commitment to continued refreshment.”

James Keane, retired president and chief executive officer of Steelcase Inc., was elected to the company’s Board effective February 15, 2024. Keane is the second new director to join Newell’s Board this year. As announced in December 2023, the company elected Anthony Terry to the Board on January 1, 2024.

In addition, Newell Brands announced that Robert Steele, Courtney Mather, and Jay Johnson informed the Board of their decision not to seek re-election in its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to focus on other commitments. When their terms end at the 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, the size of the company’s Board will decrease from eleven members to eight.

Newell’s Board of Directors designated Bridget Ryan Berman, an independent director, as the next Board chair, effective May 8, 2024. Berman will succeed Steele. 

Berman has served on Newell Brands’ Board since April 2018 and has been the chair of the Nominating/Governance Committee since March 2022. She has worked in retail as a brand and e-commerce executive for over 35 years. As a senior-level executive, she has helped oversee the strategies and operations of leading global brands, including CEO of Victoria’s Secret Direct, LLC, CEO of the Giorgio Armani Corp. (a U.S. subsidiary of Giorgio Armani S.P.S.), VP and COO of Retail Stores for Apple Computer, Inc. and in a variety roles of increasing responsibility over 14 years at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., including group president, Global Retail.

“I have enjoyed my tenure on Newell Brands’ Board over the past six years and am pleased with the successful CEO transition in 2023. I am confident that Bridget will be an excellent chair and remain supportive of the highly capable management team and the new strategy they have been implementing,” said Steele.

“I am honored to have been elected as Board Chair of Newell Brands and to work alongside my fellow directors and the management team in continuing to drive the company’s turnaround,” said Berman. “Jim is another terrific addition to our Board, and I am confident he will play an integral role in driving value for our stakeholders, leveraging the breadth and depth of his extensive strategic and operational experience. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Jim and Tony to the Newell Brands Board. On behalf of the entire Board and management team, I would also like to extend our gratitude to Rob, Courtney and Jay for their meaningful contributions to the Board through the years and wish them continued success.”

James Keane is a seasoned executive with significant leadership experience in operations, strategy, sales, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and product development. During his 25-year career at Steelcase, from 1997 through early 2022, Keane held various leadership roles, including COO, CFO, President and CEO. Before joining Steelcase, Keane was CFO at Cloud Corp. and a consultant with McKinsey & Company. He serves on the Board of Rockwell Automation as a lead independent director and is a director or trustee of several civic organizations. Keane holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois and a Master in Management from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Image courtesy Newell Brands