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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Jim Hackett sets the stage for Steelcase shareholders' 2014 success

Thursday 1 January 2015

Before Jim Hackett brought football coach Jim Harbaugh back to the University of Michigan this week, the school's interim athletic director completed a difficult restructuring at Steelcase Inc., the office furniture company he headed for two decades.
Wolverine fans may hope Hackett’s achievement in Ann Arbor yields the same results it did for shareholders of the Grand Rapids-based company in 2014.
Steelcase’s stock price rose 13.8 percent in 2014, topping all other West Michigan companies that are publicly traded. Its share price rose from $15.77 at the outset of 2014 to $17.95 at the end of trading on Wednesday, Dec. 31.
Hackett, who retired from Steelcase in February, is credited with steering Steelcase through the Great Recession to improved profits. Although his reorganization shed half the company’s Grand Rapids workforce, investors liked the leaner version of the 100-year-old company.
In September, Steelcase Inc. reported its second-quarter profits grew by double-digits as the office furniture maker marked its most profitable performance in the Americas in a decade.
Despite continued restructuring losses in Europe, new CEO Jim Keane told analysts on Sept. 23 that Steelcase’s future remains bright as their customers continue to shift from office cubicles to open collaborative work spaces.
Though Steelcase investors gained the most from West Michigan stocks, 2014’s gains did not compare to the 25.6 percent gain Steelcase investors saw in 2013.For most investors in other West Michigan companies, 2014 did not bring the big price increases they saw in the 2013.

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