(By Balaseshan) Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LECO), a maker of welding products and other industrial equipment, said Operating Chief Christopher Mapes will replace John Stropki Jr. as President and Chief Executive at the end of the year.
The Cleveland, Ohio-based company said John Stropki Jr., who has been Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since 2004, would become Executive Chairman of the Board, effective December 31.
As Executive Chairman, Stropki will work closely with Mapes to ensure a seamless transition for Lincoln Electric's shareholders, global employee base, key customers, industry associations, and community and government relationships, including Lincoln's global headquarters' community in Cleveland.
Mapes started his career with General Motors and has more than 25 years of progressive executive experience with global industrial manufacturing and distribution companies. He has been serving as Chief Operating Officer of the company since September 1, 2011, and has been a member of the Board of Directors since February 2010.
Stropki said the company has a dynamic and powerful strategy in place with its 2020 Vision -- a vision that Lincoln expects to drive significant accomplishments on a number of important fronts, including targeted compound annual growth of 10% or more in sales and a return on invested capital in excess of 15% through 2020.
Lead Director Harold Adams noted that during Stropki's tenure as CEO, the company embarked on the largest expansion of its global manufacturing footprint in its history, successfully integrated key acquisitions, achieved record earnings in 2011, and consistently increased its quarterly dividend.
LECO is trading up 0.91% at $43.29 on Friday. The stock has been trading between $26.84 and $50.36 for the past 52 weeks.