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Lynn Utter leaving Knoll

Thursday 15 January 2015

Lynn Utter, President of Knoll Office and one of the highest ranking women in the office furniture industry, is stepping down after nearly seven years at the company. Utter is also President of BIFMA, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association, where she was recently appointed and has helped build the group's Leadership Conference into one of the most important events of the year. She also pushed for collaboration and sharing in an industry not used to working together.
According to Knoll, Utter's leadership helped the company develop new initiatives that support its commercial, government, healthcare and education clients. She also created a talented cross-functional team while at the company.
Knoll did not give a reason for Utter's departure, when she will leave or note where she is headed next. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cogan and the Knoll board have initiated a search for the Knoll Office division and Cogan will serve as acting president of Knoll Office until Utter's replacement is found.
Utter came to Knoll as an office furniture outsider. Before joining the company, she was the chief strategy officer at Coors Brewing Company, a business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Company. Utter joined Knoll in March of 2008 as President and Chief Operating Officer of Knoll North America.
At the time of her hiring, Cogan said, "I am pleased that we were able to find a leader of Lynn's stature who understands the importance of product, the reliance on distributor/dealer partners and the nuances of complex manufacturing operations. Importantly, Lynn is someone who has demonstrated that she values a collaborative business culture like ours where each individual is respected."
Utter, 52, reported directly to Cogan. She succeeded Kass Bradley who served as president and CEO of Knoll North America. Utter became close friends with Bradley, who retired after a 30-year career with Knoll.

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