David N. Farr
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
David Farr has been Emerson’s CEO since 2000 and chairman of its board of directors since 2004. Under his leadership, Emerson has been steadily transforming from a diversified manufacturing conglomerate into a highly focused global enterprise that provides innovative technology and service solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. In 2015, Emerson had global sales of more than $22 billion, with international destination sales representing 56 percent of that total.
Since becoming CEO, Farr has put a priority on creating long-term value for shareholders and investing for long-term growth while maintaining the company’s solid financial performance relative to earnings, cash flow, and return on capital. Emerson is one of a handful of companies with nearly 60 consecutive years of increasing dividends to its shareholders.
Farr joined the company in 1981 in a corporate staff position. He then progressed through a series of corporate staff and business unit management positions with increasing responsibilities. In 1993, he was appointed president of Emerson’s Asia-Pacific operations and was based in Hong Kong for four years. In 1997, he returned to the United States to oversee Emerson’s process control business. In 1999, Farr was appointed as Emerson’s chief operating officer and held that position until being named CEO.
During his tenure as Emerson’s CEO, Farr has been an active member of several business and industry organizations. He currently serves on the executive committee of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) board of directors and is on the board of directors for the US-China Business Council. He also is a member of the board of directors of IBM.
Farr has been active in a wide range of civic and charitable organizations in St. Louis. He 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 currently serves on the executive board of the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (The Muny at Forest Park). He has served stints on the boards of directors for several nonprofits and educational institutions, including the United Way of Greater St. Louis. In recognition of his community leadership and charitable activities, Farr was named St. Louis Citizen of the Year in 2011 and was recognized by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation with the Semper Fidelis Award in 2012.
Farr received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University.