Ideal Industries chairman and CEO to retire

Updated 8/21/2019 10:34 AM

SYCAMORE -- Jim James, chairman and CEO of Ideal Insustries Incs. will retire on Jan. 31, 2020, the company announced. Steve Henn, a group president from Illinois Tool Works, will succeed Jim as CEO on Sept. 23. Meghan Juday, a fourth generation family executive, will become the chairman of the 103-year old family company on Feb. 1, 2020 when James retires.

James announced his decision to the family and board of directors over two years ago.


"I believe that after 11 years or so, it's time others get an opportunity to make their mark on the organization," said James.

"All of us are going to miss Jim's vision, brilliance and energy," said Juday. "Over these last 11 years, Jim has transformed the company."

She noted Ideal has grown substantially under his direction, not just getting larger as a company, but also becoming a more sophisticated company.

"He is a friend and mentor as well as a visionary business partner."

Henn joins Ideal from Illinois Tool Works where he was group president, industrial equipment & plastics, the largest platform within the $2 billion specialty products segment. The platform comprised 6 divisions with more than 3,000 employees operating more than 30 facilities serving multiple markets in 15 countries. Prior to that, Henn built a roughly $600 million business and became group president of ITW's global packaging solutions platform.

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