Episode 03 | Part 2: Chris Griffin, President & CEO, USG Corporation

Episode Information

As we continue our conversation about leadership with Chris, he makes a striking statement:

“I joke all the time: I’m overhead. I don’t make anything and I don’t sell anything. So the only value I provide to the organization is getting the resources so that others can be successful. That’s it. And so I need my teams to be effective, and if they’re effective, that’s how I’m successful. It’s as simple as that.” 

Building on this idea, he talks about trust as an essential ingredient in a successful organization. He then reflects on how he has learned to embrace leadership as a practice that requires daily commitment. He has also learned that the most important thing he can do as a leader is focus on making his direct reports better and inspiring them to make their direct reports better, too.

Chris is a proven business leader with more than 35 years’ experience leading multi-dimensional strategies to accelerate growth, optimize market position, and advance globalization.

His previous roles with USG include chief operating officer; executive vice president, Operations; president, International; president of USG’s Canadian subsidiary CGC and several other roles in sales, product management, manufacturing and operations. He also previously served as chief executive officer of Knauf Insulation North America.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, and has completed the advanced management program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Chris is also a member of the Board of Directors of Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity and Make-A-Wish Illinois. He is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Construction Technology for Women association, a past member of the Board of Governors for George Brown Community College and has served volunteer roles with Junior Achievement.

Since 1902, USG has led the manufacturing industry with innovations and products that set new standards for design, productivity and performance for customers all over the globe.

In 2017, the company celebrated the 100th anniversary of its iconic Sheetrock Brand, the landmark product that revolutionized interior construction and enabled the lightweight, fireproof walls that continue to be built today. USG is also a leading manufacturer of building products and innovative solutions, including wall, ceiling, flooring, sheathing and roofing products, that help the construction industry build stronger, safer, more sustainable communities.

In April 2019, USG joined the Knauf group under Chris’s leadership; Knauf is the world’s largest gypsum manufacturer with a diverse product portfolio and global footprint.