Suzanne Lovell Inc


Remembering Max De Pree (1924-2017)

November 01, 2017

Max De Pree, former CEO of Herman Miller Inc., author, and servant leader. Image courtesy of Herman Miller Inc.

Max De Pree, former CEO of Herman Miller Inc. passed away August 8th at the age of 92.

Max was one of Herman Miller founder D. J. De Pree’s three sons and was at the helm of Herman Miller for 22 years. Max De Pree is remembered for his equally important corporate achievements and managing philosophy.

Under his direction Herman Miller tripled its sales as it partnered with design prodigies Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi. Fortune magazine frequently cited the company as “most admired.”

Additionally, De Pree implemented changes within the corporate culture of Herman Miller. De Pree established servant leadership and inclusive capitalism. De Pree’s interest in his employees led him to establish programs in their best interest. His advocacy for employees made Herman Miller one of the best companies to work for.

He organized and established Herman Miller’s values and went on to author five books on leadership. His first book, Leadership Is an Art, garnered praise across the world. De Pree’s books have sold more than one million copies and are available in over 20 languages.

His career and leadership wisdom has been recognized by the American Institute of Architecture’s prestigious Gold Award, the Los Angeles AIA chapter’s Presidential Commemorative Award and election into Fortune magazine’s National Business Hall of Fame.

While his admirable management legacies continued on, Max De Pree retired as chairman of the board from Herman Miller in 1995. He is survived by his wife, Esther, four children, 23 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.