John T. Ryan III announces retirement from MSA Safety’s board

February 27, 2024

Long-serving director to retire from MSA Safety, Inc.

John T. Ryan III, a pivotal figure in the history of MSA Safety, Inc. has announced he will retire from the company’s Board of Directors at the end of his current term.

This decision comes ahead of the annual meeting of shareholders scheduled for May.

Ryan, a descendant of one of MSA’s co-founders, John T. Ryan Sr., and son of former MSA Chairman John T. Ryan Jr., has been a stalwart of the company’s growth and ethos throughout his tenure.

Ryan’s extensive career at MSA began in 1969 after completing his education and serving as an officer in the U.S. Army.

His leadership roles spanned across various segments of the company, eventually leading to his position as President in 1990, and later Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

He continued to play a significant role in MSA’s direction and strategy as a Director after retiring as CEO in 2008.

A legacy of leadership and commitment

Nish Vartanian, the current Chairman and CEO of MSA, lauded Ryan’s contributions and influence on the company.

“When I think of MSA, I think of John and the legacy he has helped to build and preserve over a remarkable 55-years of continuous service to the company,” Vartanian said.

He credited Ryan with being a mentor and a major influence on both his career and the careers of many others within MSA.

Vartanian highlighted Ryan’s role in enhancing MSA’s global leadership in safety products and solutions, noting his commitment to integrity, corporate social responsibility, and stakeholder engagement.

“In many respects, John was a Corporate Social Responsibility-focused leader long before that term was established,” he added.

Reflections on a storied career

Reflecting on his time with MSA, Ryan expressed his belief in living a purpose-driven life, focused on ensuring the success and continuity of MSA’s mission to protect workers worldwide.

“I believe every person is put on this earth for a purpose. For me, I have always felt my vocation in my business life is to do whatever I could to ensure the success and continuity of the MSA business and its mission,” Ryan commented.

He also expressed confidence in the company’s future under the leadership of Steve Blanco, who will assume the role of CEO in May.

“I am confident he will do a great job leading MSA Safety into the future,” Ryan said.

Bob Bruggeworth, Lead Independent Director of MSA, commended Ryan’s contributions and leadership, acknowledging the impact of his business acumen and dedication to the company’s mission and values.

FSJA Comment

John T. Ryan III’s retirement marks the end of an era for MSA Safety, Inc., reflecting a transition in leadership while underscoring the lasting impact of the Ryan family’s legacy on the company.

Ryan’s career is a testament to the importance of dedicated leadership in sustaining a company’s mission and values across generations.

His focus on integrity, corporate social responsibility, and mentorship has set a standard for future leaders within and beyond MSA.

As the company looks to its future under new leadership, Ryan’s principles and achievements remain a guiding light for continued innovation and commitment to safety.

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