Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Under the leadership of David N. Farr, Emerson has steadily grown its position in global markets, increased its focus on customer-oriented services and solutions, and invested in industry-leading technologies. Farr, who became chief executive officer in October 2000, is only the third CEO of the company in nearly 60 years.
With his management team, Farr has kept the company focused on creating long-term value and maintaining Emerson’s solid financial performance relative to growth in sales, earnings, cash flow, and return on capital. Farr was ranked among the best CEOs in America by Institutional Investor magazine five years in a row (2008-2012).
Farr joined Emerson in 1981 in a corporate staff position. He subsequently served as the company’s manager of investor relations, vice president of corporate planning and development, president of the Ridge Tool business unit, and group vice president for the industrial components and equipment business. He then served four years as the Hong Kong-based president of Emerson Asia-Pacific and CEO of Emerson’s Astec joint venture.
In 1997, Farr returned to St. Louis to become executive vice president overseeing Emerson’s process management business. In 1999, he became senior executive vice president and chief operating officer with responsibility for the firm’s global operations, positions that he held until becoming CEO in 2000. He was named chairman in 2004, and from 2005 to 2010, also served as the company’s president.
Farr is a member of the board of directors of IBM, and also is on the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the US-China Business Council.
Active in a wide range of civic and charitable organizations in St. Louis, Farr is a member and past president of Civic Progress, an organization of chief executives from leading companies in St. Louis who work together to promote the region. He also currently serves on the executive boards of the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (The Muny at Forest Park) and the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. In 2012, he received the Semper Fidelis Award from the Marine Scholarship Foundation, and in 2011, he was named St. Louis Citizen of the Year.
Farr received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University.