Spartanburg-based J M Smith Corp. names new CEO and chairman

A. Alan Turfe has been named CEO and chairman of Spartanburg-based J M Smith Corp.

Spartanburg-based J M Smith Corp. on Tuesday named A. Alan Turfe as its new chairman and CEO.

Turfe, who most recently served as senior vice president and chief procurement officer for Germany-based Fresenius Medical Care, will officially take the reins March 1 from William R. “Bill’ Cobb.

Cobb retired Tuesday after 41 years with the company, including 19 years as chairman and CEO.

During Cobb’s tenure, J M Smith has become the third-largest privately held company in South Carolina, employing hundreds in Spartanburg and beyond across its five divisions — Smith Drug Co., QS/1, Integral Solutions Group, RxMedic, and Integra.

Turfe, a native of Michigan, cut his teeth in various leadership roles at General Motors, Fisher Scientific, and IDEX Corp. J M Smith’s board members selected him after a nationwide search.

“In a pool of incredibly qualified candidates, Alan demonstrated the leadership skills, business acumen and background best suited to lead J M Smith Corporation into the future,” said Terry Cash, a J M Smith Corp. board member who led the search committee, in a statement. “Alan is growth-minded and believes, as we do, that the future is bright for J M Smith Corporation. We believe he will both honor the proud history of this organization while leading it through dynamic times ahead.”

Turfe started working for GM as an assembly associate while he was a student at the University of Michigan.

After earning his Master of Business Administration degree in 1992, he worked as a financial analyst for the automaker.

He was promoted to finance director of GM’s Automotive Components Division in Europe and then became CFO of GM Worldwide Purchasing and Logistics.

Turfe led the company into e-commerce with the joint venture Covisint, which generated more than $4 billion in shareholder value and resulted in his appointment to co-CEO of the venture.

After a decade at GM, he joined Fisher Scientific, where he was president of the Anatomical Pathology Group. He then joined IDEX Corp. and served as president of Micropump Inc.

Turfe has worked for Fresenius Medical Care since June 2014.

“J M Smith Corporation is a phenomenal organization with a proud history,” Turfe said in a statement. “I believe in the importance of listening to employees and to customers on a personal level, asking, ‘How can we help them achieve?’ and then working with them to do just that.”

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