Summit Materials sets CEO transition

One of the biggest dealmakers in the history of North American heavy building materials is preparing for a sunset of day-to-day duties at an operation he founded 11 years ago.


Upon Aggregates Manager Hall of Fame inauguration, Tom Hill addresses a joint National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association general session. 2017 PHOTO: Concrete Products

Thomas W. Hill will retire as Summit Materials Inc. president, chief executive officer and director, effective September 1, assuming a senior advisor role for the remainder of the year and continuing in a consulting capacity through July 2023. His successor is Anne Noonan, who will arrive with 30-plus years of senior leadership experience at publicly traded companies and become the highest ranking female among major North American cement, aggregate and concrete producers.

“Serving this Company alongside our talented team members has been the highlight of my professional career, and I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished,” says Hill. “I believe now is the right time for the Company to transition to its next leader and have great confidence in Anne, the strength of our team, and opportunities ahead.”

Hill launched Summit Materials from a Washington, D.C. base in 2009. He applied an acquisition model honed over more than two decades in the Oldcastle C-suite, targeting well managed heavy building materials operators—especially those with principals who would remain for more than post-deal interim periods. The strategy fostered a national powerhouse with top five positions in U.S. aggregates, ready mixed and asphalt production.

Departing Oldcastle in 2008, Hill tapped a deep base of contacts for a new venture, its charter business Perry, Kan.-based Hamm Inc. He and Summit Materials colleagues attained a critical mass in aggregates, ready mixed, asphalt and road building through the 2010 acquisitions of Austin Materials, Texas; Con-Agg of Missouri, Columbia; Cornejo & Sons, Wichita, Kan.; Kilgore Cos., West Valley City, Utah; Hinkle Contracting Co., Paris, Ky.; and, R.K. Hall Construction, Paris, Texas. The second year also saw a new financial watermark with a nearly $300 million deal for Continental Cement Co. in Hannibal, Mo.

Against the backdrop of a slow economic recovery, Hill and his team built Summit Materials East and West divisions around platform companies from initial transactions, plus 2014 and 2016 acquisitions in Mid-Atlantic, Southwest and Pacific Northwest markets. In between, producer acquired a Lafarge cement mill in Davenport, Iowa, along with a seven-terminal Mississippi River distribution network; that $450 million deal was driven by a Federal Trade Commission settlement paving the way for a July 2015 merging of Lafarge North America and Holcim (US) Inc. businesses. The present Summit portfolio represents more than 70 platform or bolt-on transactions with Hill at the helm.

“Under [Tom’s] guidance and stewardship, Summit transformed from a small, private construction company into a public company with annual net revenues of $2 billion,” notes Chairman Howard Lance. “As Summit moves into its next phase of growth, we could not be more excited about appointing a CEO of Anne Noonan’s caliber to lead us forward. Anne brings proven leadership credentials and a strong track record.”

Noonan most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Omnova Solutions Inc., a global producer of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and decorative or functional surface materials. She arrived at Omnova in 2014 after nearly three decades with Chemtura Corp., a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals for whom she served as senior vice president and in executive capacities for various business units. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry and organometallic chemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland.