Esmark, Inc. Founder James P. Bouchard Announces Retirement after 40 Years in the Steel Industry
James P. Bouchard, founder, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Esmark, Inc., today announced his retirement from his role as CEO, effective November 23, 2023, his favorite family holiday. He will remain chairman of the Esmark, Inc. Board of Directors, private owner of the enterprise, and will continue to oversee all charitable contributions.
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James P. Bouchard outside his Michigan home in August 2023 (photo source: Wall Street Journal).
The company is actively conducting an international search for Bouchard’s successor. Randy Stanton, Esmark Inc. executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), will serve as acting-CEO, in addition to his role as CFO, effective November 23, 2023.
“I’ve been in the steel industry for more than 40 years, and now is the time to step away from the day-to-day operations and empower the next generation of leadership. It’s also time for me to focus on my health and spend more time with family,” Bouchard said. “I have the utmost confidence in the team to continue building on the company’s incredible legacy. The future is bright for Esmark and our customers and partners.”
Bouchard continued, “I’ve been dealing with some medical issues recently. Then I was shocked at the unexpected death of my friend and USW International President Tom Conway last month. So after four decades, and much thought and reflection, I’ve decided to retire.”
Bouchard is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Esmark Inc. (and its predecessor companies) as well as the chairman and CEO of the controlling shareholder, the Bouchard Group, which was formed in 1995. Over the years, the company has grown, diversified and evolved into the Esmark family of companies holding strategic investments and assets engaged in the Industrial, Energy, Technology, Real Estate, Commodities industries, and Youth Sports and Development sectors. Bouchard, along with the Esmark family of companies, will continue to be tireless supporters of a wide range of educational, family health and wellness, youth sports and recreation programs which include the Helen E. Bouchard Scholarship Award (totaling $500,000 to 75 recipients). Bouchard and Esmark donations have totaled more than $10 million since 2003.
“The USW commends Mr. Bouchard for his extensive work in steel, and in particular applauds his longstanding commitment to the domestic industry and his positive relationship with our union,” said USW International President David McCall. “We wish him a long and happy retirement.”
“Jim Bouchard’s impact on the both steel and energy industries, and the entire country are impossible to quantify. Gayle and I wish him the absolute best as he begins his well deserved retirement,” said Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Bouchard is the recipient of numerous industry and philanthropic awards for his accomplishments and contributions. In 2005, he was nominated and named as an Illinois Finalist of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In March 2006, the Association of Steel Distributors bestowed their highest honor on him as “Steel Man of the Year.” In 2007, he was inducted into the Hinsdale Central High School Hall of Fame, the youngest inductee in the history of the school. He is a recipient of the Hinsdale Central, James Carmanani Award. Mr. Bouchard was also honored by Loyola University as the 2007-08 recipient of the Chicago Damen Award for distinguished alumni. And in 2010, he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International for his humanitarian relief efforts during the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. In 2012, Mr. Bouchard was named Sewickley, Pennsylvania’s “Man of the Year” for his ongoing support of multiple children’s charities, youth sports and development programs, and other humanitarian organizations throughout Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh’s inner city. Also in 2012, Mr. Bouchard was named a finalist for “CEO of the Year” by global publishing concern Platts International and subsidiary Steel Business Briefing for his years of leadership, vision, and innovation in the steel industry. He is a part of the Pittsburgh City of Champions Hall of Fame and the Quaker Valley Hall of Fame. For more information about Bouchard’s legacy at Esmark, click here.
Stanton as acting-CEO will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Esmark, Inc. and will retain oversight of Esmark Excaliber. He joined Esmark in 2013 as CFO and has more than 40 years of experience in finance for multi-national conglomerates. He earned a B.S.B.A. in accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The following senior executives will report to Stanton effective November 25:
- Robert Alvarez, CEO of Esmark Steel Group
- Richard Bouchard, President of Esmark Sports Management
- Robert Mihoci, Head of Operations of Esmark Excaliber
- Ed Sarmiento, Executive Vice President of Treasury, Esmark Inc.
J. Bouchard will remain chairman of Ohio Coatings Company (OCC), a joint venture between Esmark Steel Group and TCC Steel. David Luptak remains the CEO of OCC and will report to J. Bouchard.
About Esmark, Inc.
Esmark, Inc. is a diversified, privately-held family company with a portfolio of industrial companies with strong roots in the steel industry. Over the years, Esmark has diversified its interests and operations into a number of businesses engaged in the industrial and commodity sectors. Esmark (a former publicly traded company on NASDAQ: ESMK) has focused on several key industries including steel services, oil and gas exploration, aviation, real estate, professional services, technology and youth sports development. The company is also an active corporate citizen in the communities it serves, having committed more than $10 million in philanthropic support of a wide range of humanitarian, education, family wellness and youth sports programs in Pennsylvania, Illinois and internationally. www.esmark.com
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