Getting things done is an accomplishment, but getting things done right is an achievement. F. Ross Johnson compiled an impressive record of getting things done right and achieving impressive results.
The business leader, who is perhaps best known for his stewardship of RJR Nabisco during the early and mid-1980s, died Dec. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla., at age 85.
In 1975, Mr. Johnson was elected president and chief operating officer of Standard Brands, and the next year was elected chairman and CEO.
He initiated a merger of Standard Brands with Nabisco, which, when completed in 1981, created Nabisco Brands, the 52nd largest company in the country with annual sales of $6.5 billion. It was the second largest non-oil merger to that date.
In September of 1985, Nabisco Brands and RJR merged to become RJR Nabisco, and Mr. Johnson was named president, chief operating officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. He was elected CEO in January, 1987 and chairman of the Executive Committee in April, 1987.
Under Mr. Johnson’s direction, RJR Nabisco became one of the most profitable companies in the world, with annual sales of $18 billion, 250 manufacturing plants, and 135,000 employees.
Over a period of 40 years, Mr. Johnson served on the boards of 24 companies - including The Honda Classic's host organization Children's Healthcare Charity - and he was honored with many prestigious international awards.
His love for business was matched only by his love for his family. He was very close with his two sons — Neil and Bruce — both of whom live in Atlanta as well as two granddaughters, Shea and Cate, who are the children of Neil and his wife, Mary.
Mr. Johnson maintained homes in La Jolla, Calif., and in Jupiter, Fla., with his beloved wife, Susan.
The mission of Children's Healthcare Charity, Inc., a Section 501(c)(3) organization, is to generate funds to benefit the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation and other charitable organizations within our community. Funds raised will focus on enhancing children's health, growth and well-being through medical, educational and social programs.
Learn more about Children's Healthcare Charity and The Honda Classic Cares Initiatives.
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