Departments - Industry News

May 6, 2021

Republic’s Don Slager to retire


Republic Services Inc., Phoenix, announced Donald Slager has provided his notice of intent to retire from the company after serving as its CEO for more than a decade. Prior to that, Slager served as the company’s COO for nearly a decade.

Republic President Jon Vander Ark will succeed Slager as the company’s CEO. Vander Ark also will continue in his role as president and be appointed to the board of directors. The transition will be effective June 25.

According to the company, “The move marks the conclusion of a thoughtful and comprehensive, multiyear CEO succession planning process.”

Slager will serve in a consulting capacity for the remainder of 2021 to help complete a seamless transition.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as Republic’s CEO for the past decade,” Slager says. “We’ve built a durable foundation from which the company can continue to prosper. Jon has contributed considerably since joining the team and has been instrumental in launching and integrating several key programs including Capture, Priority Based Selling and Digital Operations. His innovative spirit and passion for sustainability are great attributes. I have every confidence Jon will continue to position Republic as an industry leader throughout the company’s next chapter.”

Manny Kadre, Republic’s chairman of the board, says, “This announcement follows a robust, multiyear CEO succession planning process developed and executed by Don and the board of directors, culminating in this unanimous appointment. Don has groomed an outstanding successor who will continue to serve our customers, our people and our shareholders well. Jon is a proven leader who is poised to build off our strong foundation, leverage our leading market position and capitalize on our momentum.”

“It is an honor and truly humbling to follow Don as the next CEO of Republic Services,” Vander Ark says. “I look forward to building on the great work that has already been done. I am energized for the opportunity to lead this strong Republic team and for what we expect to accomplish on the road ahead. We are off to a strong start to the year which is supported by the positive momentum in the business and macro factors that have been better than anticipated. It is an exciting time to be at this company.”

Kadre also expressed the board’s appreciation and gratitude to Slager for his performance and dedication to the company over the last 35 years.

“Don has left an indelible mark by delivering sustainable shareholder value and transforming Republic while creating a highly ethical, inclusive and engaged culture; a recognized company brand; and a clear identity for Republic’s people. Don has also achieved the unmistakable legacy of building the company and professionalizing the industry while consistently producing exceptional results.”

Slager’s experience in the waste industry has spanned more than four decades. He initially worked in the business as a truck washer while he was a teenager before beginning his full-time career in the maintenance shop in 1980. He then filled multiple driver positions and was appointed to a supervisory role at the age of 24. He was subsequently appointed to positions of increasing responsibility. In 1985, Slager joined National Waste Services, a privately owned company in Chicago, and led that organization in 1992 when it became one of the cornerstone companies of Allied Waste Industries Inc. Slager held numerous roles at Allied prior to joining the corporate team in 1998 and becoming COO in 2002. Slager oversaw Allied’s merger with Republic in 2008 and was named CEO in 2011.

Vander Ark was named president of Republic in May 2019 and currently leads the company’s continued growth with responsibility for operations, sales, marketing and business development. Vander Ark served as the company’s EVP and COO from January 2018 to May 2019. Prior to that, he was the company’s EVP, operations from March 2016 to January 2018.