James T. Ryan was named Chairman in April 2009, and President and Chief Executive
Officer in June 2008. He has been President of Grainger since 2006 and was named
Chief Operating Officer and appointed to the Board of Directors in February 2007.
Prior to these roles, Mr. Ryan served as Group President, responsible for the
company’s businesses operating under the Grainger brand in the United States. As
Vice President, Information Services, Mr. Ryan oversaw the implementation of one of
the largest SAP systems worldwide and achieved corporate Y2K compliance. He has
served Grainger in increasingly responsible roles since 1980, including Executive
Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Service. In that post, he was responsible for
driving growth and providing industry-leading service across all of the Grainger-branded
business channels. He also has held various positions in product management and has
served as President, Grainger Parts, and President, Grainger.com.
Mr. Ryan graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1980 with a bachelor’s
degree in business. He also earned a master’s degree, with distinction, in business
administration with a concentration in marketing from DePaul University in Chicago.
In 1999, he was awarded the Distinguished MBA Alumni Award by DePaul University,
and the Illinois Institute of Technology recognized him as the 2006 Outstanding Leader
Mr. Ryan serves on the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Museum of Science and
Industry and DePaul University, and is a Business Advisory Council member for the
Farmer School of Business at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is also a member of
the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago
and the Business Roundtable.
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2013 sales of $9.4 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America.