Grainger Appoints New CEO

LAKE FOREST, Ill.—James T. Ryan will be the new chief executive officer of W.W. Grainger Inc. on June 1.

Ryan, who was named chief operating officer and appointed to the board of directors in February 2007, succeeds Richard L. Keyser, who will remain as chairman of the board.

Since joining Grainger in 1980, Ryan has served in roles of increasing responsibility. He became president of the company in 2006. Ryan graduated from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He also earned a master's degree in business administration with distinction from DePaul University in Chicago.

"Jim becomes the fourth chief executive officer in Grainger's 80 year history, and we are fortunate to have someone as talented and qualified as he to take the helm,” says Keyser. “Jim has deep industry experience and the energy, discipline and passion for continuing Grainger's growth and profitability into the future. We have worked closely together for the past 20 years as he has moved within the company, and during that time, Jim has developed a broad understanding of what makes Grainger so successful. I am confident he will keep Grainger's values and mission in the forefront of his decision-making process—providing great service to those customers who maintain, repair and operate facilities."

"Thanks to Dick's leadership and foresight, I take over as CEO of a financially strong, highly profitable and well-positioned company with lots of opportunities to continue the growth record in sales and earnings that he has established," Ryan says. "I am excited about what we do and where we can take this company.”

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