In a surprise announcement, Terex Corp. announced that Ron DeFeo is stepping down as CEO, Nov. 2, and the company named John Garrison Jr. new president and CEO. DeFeo will continue to serve as executive chairman of Terex through Dec. 31 and will continue as a consultant for the company through the end of 2016.
Garrison joins Terex from Textron where he served as president and CEO of its Bell Helicopter Segment. Before that Garrison was president of Textron’s Industrial Segment and E-Z-Go. He also was president and CEO at Azurix Corp. and held leadership positions at Case Corp.
DeFeo was one of the most charismatic and outspoken leaders among equipment manufacturing executives. Nicknamed “the Wizard of Westport,” DeFeo, who led Terex since 1992, grew the company from a small firm with only a couple of products to one of the construction industry’s largest manufacturers. The company recently agreed to merged with Finnish crane manufacturer Konecranes, renaming the company Konecranes Terex.
“John is a proven leader with considerable experience across a variety of industries,” said David Sachs, Terex lead director. “The board considered a highly qualified pool of outstanding candidates and we strongly believe that John is the right person to lead Terex and Konecranes Terex into the future. We are grateful for Ron’s many contributions to Terex over the years and his leadership through both good and bad economic cycles in continuing to improve the company into the premier company it is today. We are pleased that Ron will be available through the leadership transition.”
“I am proud of the company Terex has become in my 23 years as Terex’s leader,” DeFeo said. “With my planned retirement, this day was inevitable and I am confident that John will be able to continue to create value for our shareholders and the shareholders of Konecranes Terex.”
Garrison, a former U.S. Army officer, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Garrison will be based at Terex’s Westport, Conn., headquarters.