President and Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
Keith Williams joined UL (Underwriters Laboratories) in 2005 as the company’s 10th president and chief executive officer. UL is the world’s premier safety science company, providing a broad array of services in more than 100 countries with nearly 14,000 employees worldwide, and annual revenue approaching $2 billion.
Since joining UL, Williams has led a transformation of UL with a greater focus on research, client service and business capabilities. Investments in Lean and client focused processes created remarkable improvements in Net Promoter Score. New business have been added in Indoor Air Quality, Consumer Products, Cyber Security, Environmental Health & Safety, Furniture, Occupational Health & Medicine, Supply Chain Management, Transaction Security, and Wireless & Mobility Testing. As a result, UL has become a major provider of Software as a Service, helping UL clients to meet a variety of regulatory and compliance needs as they expand their global enterprises. Integral to this transformation were substantial investments in training and Global Executive Leadership Development.
Williams came to UL following a 23-year career at General Electric (GE), where he held assignments in global business management, global logistics, marketing and sales. From 1993 to 1996, he lived and worked in Beijing, China, where he was president of GE Medical Systems China. In 1996, he became the first global champion for using Six Sigma business management strategies to address commercial transactions within GE Medical.
In 1997, Williams was named president, Asia-Pacific operations for Medtronic Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan. During an eight-year career with Medtronic, he also served as chief quality and regulatory officer and as president of the Spinal & Neurological business unit.
During his 11 years working in Asia, Williams served on various joint venture boards, including businesses with Samsung, Yokogawa Electric, Wipro and the Chinese Ministries of Health and Aerospace.
In addition to his work at UL, Williams is Chairman of the US ASEAN Business Council, Secretary Treasurer of the US China Business Council, Chairman of the National Fire Protection Association, a Trustee of Opera Memphis and serves on the Boards of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and World Business Chicago.