Dave Myers, President, Building Efficiency Business of Johnson Controls
Originally published: 06.01.06 by Terry Tanker
Publisher Terry Tanker sat down with David Myers, former president and CEO of York International and now president of the Building Efficiency business of Johnson Controls for an informal discussion about his background, his move from York International to Johnson Controls, contractors and the HVACR industry.
1. What was your childhood ambition?
Sports, sports, sports.
2. Baseball or Football?
Both. I wanted to grow up to play centerfield for the Pittsurgh Pirates between Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente, and I'm a life-long Steeler and Nittany Lion fan.
3. Your alma mater is Penn State, Poppa Joe had them cranked up this year.
It was a great season; the type we were used to for 30 years. Maybe there are 10 more in him.
4. Do you prefer the college sports experience?
Yes, the college atmosphere is amazing.
5. So, what was your first job?
I worked on a farm for many years growing up and then drove a delivery truck for a potato chip company throughout college summers.
6. You've been around and have accomplished a lot over the course of your career. What do you regard as your most significant achievement?
The births of my children.
7. What is your favorite web site?
8. What was your last big purchase?
A home in Wisconsin.
9. What is the last gadget you bought?
A laptop for our home.
10. How do you start your morning?
A hot shower and 2 minute breakfast, then return calls and emails from our global business.
11. What do you consider mandatory reading for the day, and when?
The Wall Street Journal in the morning.
12. What's your travel schedule like in any given month?
Approximately 50 percent travel, most of it outside the United States.
13. Running a large company there is enormous time pressure and constraints. How often are you able to spend time with customers each month?
It varies, but at least several days each a month I meet with customers. I also attend many forums where I have the opportunity to meet with multiple customers and interact with them.
14. You've moved around a bit like most executives of large corporations. When you and your wife find a house you like in a new city does the air conditioner and furnace get replaced?
Yes, absolutely. I believe we have the industry's best products and I am proud to show them off.
15. From your perspective what is the largest challenge facing you this year?
The integration of two businesses and the morale and stability of our employees.
16. You were named CEO of York in February of 2004. How soon afterward did Johnson Controls approach you about the acquisition?
Discussions began early in 2005 and continued through the summer.
17. What were your initial thoughts?
That York had a remarkable past and a tremendous future ahead of us and we could achieve our goals independently. However, the combination truly made sense. We had similar cultures and could really become a game changer in the industry, globally.
18. What impact will this acquisition have on contractors?
We believe our combined capabilities will allow contractors to be more effective in providing value, offer improved capabilities and be more competitive for their customers. Overall, I believe contractors will benefit from a perspective of value, better customer solutions, broader offerings and greater investment in products.
19. How does this acquisition impact your dealer and distributor network?
We have increased our ability to grow coverage, accelerate product development and broaden our capabilities. All of these will benefit our distributors and dealer network as we target even faster growth in the next several years.
20. Your theme at AHR was "Together We Can Do More." What does that mean for customers?
Based on our research about what customers want in the marketplace, the combination of York and Johnson Controls is delivering on their expectations. We now provide customers access to integrated systems and services; access to enhanced HVACR, controls, fire, and security. Customers benefit from our ability to serve the low, mid and high-end marketplace and do it globally.