Bill Henniger: CEO of the Year 2020 finalist
Large business finalist: Bill Henniger, founder and CEO, Rogue Fitness
Bill Henniger launched fitness equipment maker Rogue in 2006 while employed at General Motors and working on his MBA. Today, Rogue reports it is the largest strength and conditioning equipment manufacturer in the world, processing 500,000 pounds of steel every day. The company has grown to 1,200 employees this year, up from 500 in 2015, all while taking no investments or debt. It established a significant presence near Downtown Columbus at the former site of a Timken plant in Milo-Grogan, which has since become Rogue’s new 45-acre campus. A 300,000-square-foot addition is planned in 2021, and Henniger hopes to build in other areas of the city, as well. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Bill and his wife Caity, who is the company’s chief sales officer, worked to give Rogue employees and the Columbus community a sense of stability. Minimum wage at the company was raised to $25 an hour, and more than 100,000 meals were purchased from local restaurants to feed the team during the shutdowns of the spring and summer.