Our History

From Humble Beginnings to the New York Stock Exchange
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Over 60 Years of Putting People First

No matter the product or service, Worthington puts people first. Since its founding in 1955, Worthington has operated on a philosophy rooted in the Golden Rule, which serves as the basis for an unwavering commitment to the customer, supplier and shareholder, and as the Company's foundation for one of the strongest employee-employer partnerships in American industry.


$600 and an idea

In 1955, a young steel salesman named John H. McConnell saw an opportunity for custom-processed steel. Borrowing $600 against his 1952 Oldsmobile, he bought his first load of steel and set up shop in Columbus, Ohio, founding Worthington Industries. Today, a replica of the car sits in our global headquarters, as a reminder of the Company’s beginnings.

1950s & 1960s

Growing and sharing success

In its first year of business, Worthington Industries profited just $11,000. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, the Company continued to grow, adding processing facilities. In 1966, John H. McConnell began sharing profits with employees. At that same time, all production workers were put on a salary plan. In 1968, Worthington Industries made its first public stock offering of 150,000 shares at $7.50 per share.

1970s & 1980s

Diversification and Expansion

In 1971, Worthington diversified with the addition of a pressure cylinders manufacturing business. In 1976, after only 21 years in business, the Company celebrated $100 million in sales and continued to expand rapidly throughout the 1980s.


A family legacy continues

In 1996, John H. McConnell’s son, John P. McConnell took over as chairman and CEO. He had worked for the Company more than 20 years, starting as a general laborer and later advanced to sales, operations and personnel.

1990s - 2000s

Focusing on our core strengths

During the 1990s, many non-core businesses were sold, and the Company refocused on its strengths: steel processing and metals-related businesses. In 2000, we moved to the New York Stock Exchange.


Makers of More

Today, while steel processing remains core to who we are, Worthington has become much more. Through acquisitions and the realignment of our businesses, Worthington is a leading industrial manufacturer in Steel Processing, Building Products, Consumer Products and Sustainable Energy Solutions.

Under the leadership of Andy Rose, who succeeded John P. McConnell as CEO in 2020, we continue to operate by a Philosophy rooted in the Golden Rule, with an emphasis on valued employees, continuous improvement and innovation.

Continuing to Impact

At Worthington Industries, good citizenship is deeply ingrained in our values. Learn more about how we are impacting the communities where we live and work today.

Learn more about working with our team.