Turtle & Hughes, the Linden, New Jersey-based electrical distributor, on Monday announced that it has appointed co-CEO Kathleen Shanahan, pictured right, to CEO. She replaces Jayne Millard and becomes the first non-family CEO in the company’s almost 100-year history but also continues a long legacy of leadership by women starting with Millard’s great grandmother.
The moves is the final phase of a two-year planned succession outlined by the Turtle & Hughes board of directors. Millard, the fourth generation of family ownership at this electrical/industrial distributor, is now executive chairman of the board. She remains a full-time member of the executive committee setting the strategic vision for the company.
“As my co-CEO for the past two years, Kathleen has transformed the company’s overall business strategy through technology and opened new sales paths,” Millard said. “Her accomplishments include an industry-leading ecommerce portal that has expanded online sales to the global marketplace; enhanced business analytics; CRM implementation, and driving high margin product sales. Our Net Promoter Score, measuring customer loyalty, rates ‘excellent,’ showing her commitment to a customer-first culture.
“Kathleen is a compassionate leader, which aligns with our family’s values,” Millard continued. “She mobilized hundreds of employees to remote work to protect us from Coronavirus. She has instituted a culture of accountability with KPIs aligned to an enhanced benefits program that earned us a 2020 Best Places to Work in New Jersey Award. We are very fortunate to have her at the helm.”
The move comes as Family Business Magazine announced that Shanahan has been named a CEO to Watch and is featured in the publication’s November/December issue.
“I am honored to have the trust of the Millard family and to be recognized among so many notable CEOs by Family Business Magazine,” said Shanahan. “We have a great team at Turtle, a 98-year legacy of industry leading services and solutions, and strong core values. I am excited for the next chapter.”
Shanahan was named Turtle co-CEO in 2018 after serving one year as executive vice president of National Accounts, driving digital, marketing and brand value for Turtle’s customer service in the broader marketplace. She had previously served for more than three years on the company’s board of directors.