Trailblazing Female CEO’s Retirement Marks New Chapter for Historic Metals Company

In a planned succession, Commercial Metal Co. CEO Barbara Smith will pass the reins to Peter Matt in September. The transition is a significant milestone for the Irving-based Fortune 500 company, which can trace its origins back to a single Dallas scrap yard in 1915.

Barbara Smith, who belongs to the distinguished 10.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs who are women, has announced her retirement as CEO of Commercial Metals Co., effective September. Smith joined CMC in 2011 as senior vice president and chief financial officer, later taking on the roles of CEO in 2017 and board of directors chair in 2018.

While stepping down as CEO, Smith will continue to contribute as the executive chairman of the board, ensuring a seamless transition of responsibilities.

Peter Matt

Taking over the helm on September 1 will be Peter R. Matt, appointed as the chief executive officer and president of the Irving-based company. Matt has served as the company’s president since April 9.

Expressing gratitude for Smith’s contributions, CMC Lead Independent Director Sarah Raiss said, “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Barbara for her years of service to CMC, her outstanding leadership, commitment to our values, and dedication to the Company, its employees, customers, communities, and shareholders.”

Raiss also acknowledged Smith’s instrumental role in leading CMC through an era of “unprecedented” transformation, growth, and innovation.

Smith has been recognized for her contributions and accomplishments that have left a lasting impression on CMC and the business community at large.

Retiring CEO Smith capped off a strong year in 2022 as one of ten Entrepreneur Of The Year National Award winners last November. Smith also was highlighted in the “first-ever” Women CEOs in America Report, released in 2020 by C200, Catalyst, and the Women Business Collaborative, further exemplifying her impact and influence as a female CEO. 

‘Long-term succession plan’

Raiss said the board looks forward to continuing the company’s “strong trajectory” under the leadership of Matt. Described as a “strategic thinker, strong collaborator, and proven leader,” Matt’s appointment reinforces CMC’s commitment to sustained success.

Matt, a CMC board member since 2020, has experience in a range of manufacturing companies in metals and metals-related industries.

Retiring CEO Smith emphasized that the transition is part of a long-term succession plan.

“We have every confidence in [Matt] as he takes on the role and responsibilities of chief executive officer, which is the result of a thoughtful and deliberate long-term succession planning process,” Smith said in a statement. “[Matt] brings a wealth of financial, strategic, and executive leadership experience, and I am pleased to transition the role of chief executive officer of the company to [Matt].”

Matt’s background includes serving as the executive vice president and CFO of Constellium SE, a leading global aluminum fabrication company, from January 2017 to April 2023. Before that, he was a managing partner for Tumpline Capital LLC and held various leadership positions with Credit Suisse from 1985 to 2015, demonstrating his wide-ranging expertise in the manufacturing and financial sectors.

From its origins in 1915 as a single scrap yard in Dallas, Commercial Metals Co. is now a Fortune 500 company with more than 10,000 employees serving customers around the world.

CMC, along with its subsidiaries, operates hundreds of facilities in the United States and Poland. Its operations involve manufacturing, recycling, and fabrication of steel and metal products, providing related materials and services. Additionally, through its Tensar operations, CMC is a prominent global provider of ground and soil stabilization solutions, serving over 80 national markets with its Tensar geogrids and Geopier foundation systems.

Quincy Preston contributed to this report.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T

  • Irving's Commercial Metals Company Acquires Galveston Metals Recycling Facility

    Irving-based Commercial Metals Company has completed its acquisition of a Galveston-area metals recycling facility and related assets from Kodiak Resources and Kodiak Properties. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The facility processes approximately 55,000 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous materials annually, "with the majority of volumes related to obsolete ferrous scrap grades consumed by CMC's long product mills," the company said. The deal is expected to enhance the security and supply of competitively priced inputs to CMC's steelmaking operations. Earlier this week, Barbara Smith, chairman, president, and CEO of Irving-based Commercial Metals Company, was named an EY Entrepreneur Of…

  • Commercial Metals Co. Appoints Industry Veteran as New President

    As part of its succession plan, Irving-based Commercial Metals Co. has appointed Peter R. Matt as president, effective April 1. He succeeds Barbara R. Smith who will remain chairman and CEO of the company. Matt will continue to serve on the company's board, which he joined in June 2020. "We have every confidence in Peter as he takes on the role and responsibilities of president, and his appointment is part of the company's succession plan," Smith said in a statement. "Peter brings a wealth of financial, strategic and executive managerial experience, and his leadership has been excellent during his tenure…

  • Ernst & Young has announced that Barbara Smith (above), chairman, president, and CEO of Irving-based Commercial Metals Company, has been named an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Award winner. Smith joins nine others sharing the national award from New York, California, Florida, Indiana, and Maryland. Commercial Metals Company and its subsidiaries manufacture, recycle, and fabricate steel and metal products at facilities in the U.S. and Poland. READ NEXT: Irving’s Commercial Metals Company Acquires Galveston Metals Recycling Facility "I'm extremely proud of our continued solid execution, which has enabled us to fully capitalize on very strong market conditions in North America…

  • Robert S. Wetherbee has been appointed to the board of directors of Irving-based Commercial Metals Co., effective March 21, bringing more than 40 years of professional experience to the company's board. "We are pleased to welcome Bob to our Board of Directors," Barbara R. Smith, chairman of the board, president and CEO, said in a statement. "He brings extensive metals and mining industry expertise with a track record of driving strategic transformation in specialty materials. His global perspective gained managing international organizations will benefit our company as we continue to create an unparalleled provider of reinforcement solutions for the domestic…

  • Are you or your company a leader in innovation? The Innovation Awards celebrates trailblazers and innovators in North Texas. Nominate your organization, a colleague, peer, or yourself—by September 22.