WASHINGTON (From news reports) -- Former Weyerhaeuser CEO John "Jack" Creighton died Jan. 29 at the age of 87.
He had retired as chief executive of Weyerhaeuser in 1997 but not from business life. He took on the jobs of chairman and CEO of United Airlines in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; locally, he was a strategic director for the Seattle-based tech-investment firm Madrona Venture Group.
Creighton's appointment as Weyerhaeuser CEO in 1991 marked the start of a transition of Weyerhaeuser, both in terms of leadership -- he was the first CEO not a member of the family whose name was on the company door -- and company structure. It was Creighton's job to start bringing some order and strategic rationalization to what was a sprawling company with hands in everything.
It's a much different company than when Creighton was running it. It's had four CEOs since Creighton -- Steve Rogel, Dan Fulton, Doyle Simons and currently Devin Stockfish. Although it wasn't done with acquisitions in the post-Creighton years -- it took on the Willamette Industries deal under Rogel and the combination with Plum Creek Timber under Simons -- the theme has been much more about pruning or in some cases hacking away. Pulp, paper and packaging are gone. The company itself converted to a real-estate investment trust, placing the emphasis on its timberland holdings.