Entrepreneur Of The Year US National Award winner
Barbara Smith | Commercial Metals Company
Commercial Metals Company (CMC) and the materials it works with have some properties in common. Just like steel is ductile, the global provider of construction reinforcement solutions such as steel rebar has had to flex with ever-changing times. And just like steel is durable, CMC has withstood several challenges over its 107 years in existence.
Barbara Smith, CMC’s CEO since 2017, can attest to this resilience. Right after she had joined the business as CFO, the company faced a hostile takeover attempt. At the time, Smith had yet to build strong relationships there. But that didn’t stop her from developing and presenting her plan to save CMC to the company’s top leaders, which led to the takeover effort’s defeat.
Smith is motivated by the company’s need to keep evolving, and CMC’s major moves in recent years reinforce her philosophy. Those developments include the acquisition of a competitor’s reinforcing steel assets in 2018, which doubled CMC’s market share, and the recent acquisition of a company outside the steel industry. The latter acquisition, along with continual product innovation, reflects CMC’s strategy to grow as a leader in construction reinforcement.
Smith is proud that the enterprise, which began as a recycling company, incorporates sustainability into its practices. CMC workers extract as much as metal as possible when shredding and separating recycled materials, and they limit how much they bring to landfills.
This commitment to sustainability is even evident in the company’s lobby, where art created by high school students using CMC-donated scrap metal is displayed for the annual Scrap Can Be Beautiful competition.