Our Story

We’re proud of our humble beginnings and continued success.

In 1955, a young steel salesman named John McConnell saw an opportunity for custom-processed steel—and he dove right in. He purchased his first load of steel by borrowing $600 against his 1952 Oldsmobile, and then used that money to start Worthington Industries in Columbus, Ohio.

In his first year of business, McConnell grossed $342,000; his profit was $11,000. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, he continued to add processing facilities. In 1966, he started sharing his profits with the people he worked with. At the same time, all production workers were put on a salary rather than an hourly schedule. In 1968, Worthington Industries made its first public stock offering of 150,000 shares at $7.50 per share.

In 1976, after only 21 years in business, we celebrated $100 million in sales. Throughout the 1980s, business continued to expand rapidly.

In 1996, John McConnell’s son, also named John, took over as chairman and CEO. He had worked for the company more than 20 years; he started as a general laborer and later advanced to sales, operations and personnel.

During the 1990s, many of our non-core businesses were sold so we could focus on our core strengths: steel processing and metals-related businesses. In 2000, we moved to the New York Stock Exchange.

We continue to lead the diversified metal manufacturing industry with a focus on the Golden Rule, valued employees, stability and innovation.