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UL and parent company Underwriters Laboratories today announced that, after 15 years of service, Keith Williams has decided to retire as president and CEO. Mr. Williams will continue to support each organization through an interim period to ensure a smooth transition.
The UL Board of Directors has appointed Jennifer Scanlon as president and CEO of UL and a member of the UL Board of Directors, effective September 30, 2019. Ms. Scanlon most recently served as president, CEO and a director of USG Corporation, a 116-year-old innovative building products manufacturer and one of UL’s oldest clients.
Over her 16-year career at USG, Ms. Scanlon led the company through some of its most significant strategic moves, including establishing the global joint venture, USG Boral Building Products, and divesting L&W Supply. In 2018, she negotiated the sale of USG to Knauf for $7 billion, which represented a 76 percent premium to the Company’s stock price compared to when Ms. Scanlon was named CEO. The transaction closed April 24, 2019. She is the first woman to serve as president and CEO of UL.
James Shannon, chair of the UL Board of Directors and of the Underwriters Laboratories Board of Trustees, said, “Jenny brings exceptional integrity, experience, talent and technology expertise to UL.
A Chicago-area native, Jenny also has a global perspective that is certain to benefit UL having previously led USG’s 8,000 employees around the world. Given her dedication to safety and innovation and her demonstrated success in growing a global business, we are confident she is the right leader for UL at this time.”
“It is an honor to be joining UL as technological advances continue to drive dramatic changes in UL’s clients’ operations,” said Ms. Scanlon. “As a mission driven organization with a record of innovation, UL is in a unique position to assist our clients in enabling the safe adoption of their products. I look forward to working with UL’s 14,000 talented associates around the world to advance our capabilities and build on UL’s 125-year legacy of safety and trust.”
Underwriters Laboratories also announced that its board of trustees has appointed Terrence Brady, currently president of Underwriters Laboratories, as president and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories, effective January 1, 2020, upon Mr. Williams’ retirement from that role. Mr. Brady will continue to lead the transformation of the 125-year-old non-profit organization to become the world’s leading safety science research and standards development institution.
Mr. Shannon continued, “Given Terry’s strong track record at our organization, we know that he will continue to be a significant asset as the new president and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories. At Underwriters Laboratories, Terry has excelled in all of his leadership positions, helping to develop our strategy and drive its execution. Terry’s first-hand knowledge of Underwriters Laboratories, its history, mission and opportunities will serve Underwriters Laboratories and its stakeholders well.”
Mr. Brady said, “For 125 years, Underwriters Laboratories has strived to instill trust through the science of safety. I am excited to build on this heritage as president and CEO to further the trust in our organization, which will remain key to our success. Ground-breaking safety research, standards development and outreach all continue to be priorities as we look to collaborate with our stakeholders to make the world a safer place.”
Speaking about Mr. Williams’s tenure at and retirement from UL and Underwriters Laboratories, Mr. Shannon said, “In his 15 years with our organization, Keith has made significant, long-lasting contributions that have enabled us to successfully extend our safety mission around the world. Today, UL and Underwriters Laboratories each benefit from a strong operating foundation to support their respective growth and leadership well into the future. We wish Keith the best in his retirement and also offer our deep gratitude for his dedication and service to UL and Underwriters Laboratories.”
Mr. Williams said, “I am proud of all that we have accomplished over the past years and thank the outstanding associates across UL and Underwriters Laboratories who have joined me in transforming – and strengthening – our organization. I pass the baton to the next generation of leadership knowing that we are better positioned than ever to help advance innovation and solve the critical safety, quality, security and sustainability challenges around the world.”
About Keith E. Williams
Since joining Underwriters Laboratories in 2005 as president and CEO, Mr. Williams has led a significant transformation, creating two complementary organizations that are each focused on applying science to advance their safety mission – UL, a premier global testing and certifications solutions enterprise that serves businesses, industries, governments and regulatory authorities, and Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit renowned for its independent research, safety standards and commitment to sharing scientific knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives. With acquisitions and recruitment of new talent and expertise, each organization has substantially expanded its capabilities and market reach, diversified its services and solutions offerings, and established a foundation to support continued growth and leadership in the science of safety.
Mr. Williams spent the first 23 years of his career at GE Healthcare in a variety of general management and commercial leadership positions. Subsequent to GE, he spent eight years at Medtronic where he led strategic planning and served as president, neurological and spinal business, president, Asia Pacific, and chief quality and regulatory officer. He joined Underwriters Laboratories in 2005 as its 10th president and chief executive officer.
Through his career, Mr. Williams has lived 11 years in Asia with assignments in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.
He currently serves as chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council, secretary treasurer of the US-China Business Council and on the boards of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, World Business Chicago and Opera Memphis. He also serves on the board of advisers for the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.
About Jennifer Scanlon
Ms. Scanlon spent the first 5 years of her career at IBM. She then spent nearly a decade at Bricker & Associates, a boutique operations improvement consulting firm focused on Fortune 500 clients. Ms. Scanlon joined USG in 2003 as director of supply chain management and customer relationship management strategy and implementation. She was later appointed CIO, head of strategy, president of International and chairman of USG-Boral Building Products before being named CEO and president of USG in 2016.
Ms. Scanlon serves on the board of directors of Norfolk Southern Corporation and the executive committee of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is a member of The Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Ms. Scanlon graduated from the University of Notre Dame with dual degrees in government and computer applications and received an MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
About Terrence Brady
In 2018, Mr. Brady was appointed president of Underwriters Laboratories with responsibility for leading its operations, strategy and growth. He joined UL in 2012 as senior vice president and general counsel and became senior vice president, chief commercial and legal officer in 2015 with responsibility for overseeing the legal, compliance, government affairs, marketing and strategy functions.
Prior to joining UL, Mr. Brady was an associate and partner for 27 years in the Chicago office of Winston & Strawn LLP, concentrating his practice in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and corporate governance.
Mr. Brady serves on the board of trustees of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep and the board of directors of the Chicago Botanic Garden. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club of Chicago and the Asia Society.
Mr. Brady attended Dartmouth College and Notre Dame Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.
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About Underwriters Laboratories
Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being.
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