Then and now
15 years since merger
HOUSTON – In 1998, Waste Management was a different company — headquarters were in
Chicago, safety wasn’t the number one priority and environmental performance wasn’t on the minds
of customers. Not only that, the organization was going through a turbulent period. Several people
had been named to the CEO position within a short period of time, and the CEO at the time — Steven
Miller — was serving on an interim basis.
Then something happened that would change the industry forever — WM was acquired by USA Waste
for $19.13 billion. In a move that received widespread publicity, USA Waste changed its name to Waste
Management, relocated to Houston and then began developing into the organization it is today.
In 2001, with Maury Myer serving as Chairman and CEO, Mission to Zero (M2Z) was implemented,
changing WM’s culture into one where safety is paramount. In 2004, David Steiner took over the CEO
role and within three years had overseen three major events:
- the launch of the Think Green marketing campaign (2005)
- the company netting over $1 billion in profit (2006)
- four sustainability goals being established to guide the company’s environmental performance (2007)
A lot has happened since the USA Waste merger and if you’ve been with the company that long
— or in the industry — there’s no doubt you’ve witnessed a lot. As WM recaps this 15-year milestone,
take a moment to think about where we’ve come from and (more importantly) where we’d like to be.