WD-40 announces leadership moves

CEO Gary Ridge named next chairman while Steve Brass promoted to president.

BY HBSDealer Staff

WD-40 announced that company CEO Gary Ridge will be appointed as chairman of the board at its annual meeting in December.

The San Diego, Calif.-based manufacturer also said that current chair Linda Lang plans to retire as of the date of WD-40’s next annual meeting. Lang joined the board in 2004 and has served as board chair since 2016. Previously, she served as chair of the board and CEO of Jack in the Box, Inc. from 2005 until her retirement in 2014.

WD-40 said that in connection with Lang’s retirement, a lead independent director will be appointed. Ridge also currently serves as a member of the board, which includes 10 directors.

“In considering my expected retirement, our governance and nominating committee has taken a thoughtful approach to naming my successor once I retire. Because maintaining WD-40 Company’s unique company culture is a top priority, I can think of no one more qualified than Garry to take over as chair,” Lang said. “Garry has been president, chief executive officer and director of WD-40 Company since 1997 and is intimately familiar with all aspects of the organization, its governance and its unique and valuable culture.”

Steve Brass

The company has also appointed Steve Brass to the role of president and chief operating officer of the company and Patricia Olsem has been promoted to the role of division president, Americas.

In conjunction with the appointment of Brass, Ridge will no longer serve as president but will continue to serve as CEO of the company.

Brass has been with the company since 1991 and most recently held the role of division president, Americas and chief brand officer. Prior to that role, he held various management positions with the company, including European commercial director headquartered in Milton Keyes, United Kingdom.

Patricia Olsem

In his role as president and COO, Brass will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of all three of the company’s operating segments as well as the global coherency of its brand and digital strategies.

Olsem has been with the company since 2005 and most recently held the role of senior vice president and general manager of the United States. Prior to that role, she held various management positions with the company, including senior vice president, Americas marketing. 

WD-40 Company recorded net sales of $408.5 million in fiscal year 2018 and its products are currently available in more than 176 countries and territories worldwide.


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