Company: BFI / Waste Management
Years of Service: 47
Comments: On April 13 John Drury, the former CEO and Chairman of Chicago-based Waste Management Inc., died after a 17-month battle with cancer. He was 56.
Mr. Drury underwent brain surgery in November 1998 to remove “a small, localized mass” and further treatments that included radiation. When he resigned his positions at Waste Management last August he ended a career that originated on the back of his father’s garbage trucks in Minneapolis in 1958. The business was sold to BFI in 1970 and Mr. Drury became president, then moved on to huge success at USA Waste, the Houston-based one-landfill operation that he transformed into the third largest waste hauler in the United States in just four years. After years of scandals at Waste Management that included insider trading and accounting irregularities, Mr. Drury was widely viewed as a saviour when his much smaller USA Waste bought the company in 1998 in a $15-billion deal.
We will not forget you, John Drury.
Together, let’s honor the memory of the men and women who have served by our side. Whether on the garbage trucks, delivering portable sanitation units, or working in the offices and repair shops, the employees of our industry serve important roles and are very special people. As we remember this fallen hero of the waste industry, we join with their family and co-workers to honor their service.