Mike Wagner joined Kimball in 2013, when he was asked to lead an extensive turnaround for one of the largest and most diversified furniture manufacturers in the world. After recruiting top industry talent to join his executive team, he and his staff led the largest restructuring project in the company’s 50 year history, while investing in a very robust product expansion, which yielded growth of more than 4X the industry average and an unprecedented rebound in profit improvement. Over the past few years, the company has emerged as a design leader, winning three major awards, including the prestigious 2015 Interior Design “Best of Year” award for the industry’s largest product category.
Advancements with technology will accelerate the pace of change causing significant disruption for many traditional industries, including furniture. Much like the auto industry’s recent conversion to a broader focus on mobility, the furniture industry will evolve its focus toward unlocking human potential and building success in an ultra-agile environment. Much of Wagner’s time is aimed at fostering Kimball’s culture of creativity, and driving business strategies that bridge manufacturing from a capital intensive producer of physical assets into a platform of systemic innovation focused on developing intellectual capital through a network of brilliant partners whose focus is improving people’s lives and building success for each other.
Wagner’s previous career experience includes growing a small family owned business into a top industry player, where he led three successful acquisitions over an eight year period, transforming the company into one of the largest collection of furniture brands in the industry. During the past ten years, Wagner has authored articles and spoken at industry events ranging in topics related to market innovation, workplace of the future, and platform thinking. His career spans over 20 years in the furniture industry, including past ownership of a Chicago based Independent Rep firm, as well as several key leadership positions in sales management, marketing, operations and strategic planning.