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.
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.
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