Connor, 54, joined Sherwin-Williams in 1983 as advertising director for its paint stores. His long tenure with the company isn’t unusual; Sherwin-Williams is known for its remarkable skill at retaining and promoting employees. On January 1, 2016, Brother Connor stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Sherwin-Williams, a position he has held for the past 16 years. He will remain with the company in the role of Executive Chairman during the transition period.
Sherwin-Williams is a very different company today than when Chris took over as CEO. Annual sales have more than doubled, from approximately $5 billion to over $11 billion, and net income more than tripled to $1.05 billion from $304 million. Earners per share increased to $11.16 from $1.80. The company’s market capitalization grew from $3.5 billion to over $23 billion. Average annual return to shareholders over Chris’s 16-year tenure was approximately 17 percent.
As impressive as these financial results are, the impact that Chris has had on the culture of Sherwin-Williams and the spirit of its employees is even more profound and enduring. From the priority he placed on research and development to drive innovation in the industry and create better-performing products, to his unwavering commitment to opening new stores, expanding distribution globally and investing in superior customer service, Chris exemplifies the balance between managing for today and planning for the future. He has fostered teamwork and camaraderie through his daily interactions with employees throughout the company.
As Executive Chairman, Chris will continue to serve as an ambassador for Sherwin-Williams, strengthening the company’s bond with its employees, customers, suppliers and the communities in which they live and work.