Silver Sponsor - Northeast, Rocky Mountain - 2013
In 1955, a young steel salesman named John H. McConnell saw an opportunity for custom processed steel. He purchased his first load of steel by borrowing $600 against his 1952 Oldsmobile and founded Worthington Industries. First year earnings were $11,000 generated from sales of $342,000. From these modest beginnings, McConnell started a company known for its innovative products and services as well as its unique employee relationships.
The company expanded and added processing facilities throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. Profit sharing was instituted in 1966 and at the same time, all production workers were put on a salary rather than hourly schedule. In 1968, Worthington made its first public stock offering of 150,000 shares at $7.50 per share.
In 1971, Worthington purchased a small cylinders facility. This was the cornerstone of what is today Worthington Cylinders, one of our company’s core businesses.
After only 21 years in business, Worthington Industries celebrated $100 million in sales in 1976. That same year, Worthington Cylinders doubled in size. Growth and expansion continued throughout the 1980s.
In 1996, John P. McConnell succeeded his father as Chairman and CEO. He had worked for the company for more than 20 years, beginning as a general laborer and later advancing to sales, operations and personnel. That same year, the company acquired Dietrich Industries, a metal framing manufacturer serving the construction industry.
During the 1990s, many of the company’s non-core businesses were sold and the end of the decade marked a renewed focus on our core strengths of steel processing and metals-related businesses. This focus resulted in a major organizational transformation in processed steel products devoted to maximizing assets, promoting efficiency and enhancing competitive advantages.
On April 19, 2000, Worthington Industries moved to the New York Stock Exchange; a fitting move for a company that has redefined industry leadership. In 2002, after 34 years with the company, founder and chairman emeritus John H. McConnell stepped down as a member of the board of directors. In the new century, Worthington Industries continues to lead the diversified metal processing industry with a focus on the Golden Rule, valued employees, stability and innovation.