Adhesives Magazine

Avery Dennison's Charles D. Miller Passes Away

December 7, 2011

Avery Dennison recently announced the death of Charles D. Miller, who served as chairman and chief executive officer from 1977 to 1998 and was instrumental in transforming the company from a U.S.-based manufacturer into a global Fortune 500 market leader in pressure-sensitive labeling materials and office products. Miller, 83, died at his home in Pasadena, CA, on November 23 due to complications from emphysema.

“Chuck Miller’s impact on Avery Dennison was immeasurable,” said Dean A. Scarborough, chairman, president and CEO. “Every aspect of our business, from vision to strategy to execution to culture, has been shaped for the better by his passion and imagination. Numerous organizations in southern California benefited from his tireless and wide-ranging philanthropic leadership over the past four decades. I will miss him as a leader, a mentor and a friend.”

Miller began his 47-year association with Avery Dennison in 1964 when he joined Avery Products Corp., the precursor of Avery Dennison. Over the next 10 years, he held a series of operating and executive roles in the U.S. and Europe, and was named president and COO in 1976. In 1977, he was elected CEO, and, in 1983, chairman of the board. He served as CEO for 21 years, as chairman of the board for 17 years and as a member of the board of directors for over 30 years. He continued to serve the company as a director emeritus until his death.

Under Miller’s leadership, Avery Dennison grew dramatically, with annual net sales increasing during his tenure as CEO from $423 million to $3.3 billion in 1998. Investing in research and development to introduce innovative products, the company established itself as a global leader in pressure-sensitive materials and finished labels. Miller also led the company into other lines of business, the most prominent of which was office products. Through a series of acquisitions culminating with the 1990 merger with Dennison Manufacturing Co., Miller established the Avery brand and the company as a global office products leader as well.

“Chuck’s core belief to manage change through creativity, courage and confidence inspired many, and it is deeply rooted in the company’s leadership principles today,” Scarborough said. In 1999, the company named its Pasadena corporate headquarters building the Charles D. Miller Corporate Center in honor of his impact on the company.

Miller served in key business and civic leadership roles throughout his life. He served as chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Business Advisors. He also served as director and non-executive chairman of Nationwide Health Properties Inc.

Miller was born in Hartford, CT, and grew up in Old Greenwich. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Carolyn; their two daughters; three daughters from his previous marriage; and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services will be private. A memorial website can be found at www.CharlesDMiller.org.