CLEVELAND, Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LECO) announced today that its Executive Chairman, John M. Stropki, Jr., will retire from his position as Executive Chairman and as a member of the Board in December 2013. Mr. Stropki's retirement marks the close of a remarkable 41 year career at Lincoln Electric and eight and a half years as Chief Executive Officer from 2004 to 2012.
Speaking on behalf of Lincoln Electric's Board of Directors, David H. Gunning, Lead Director, stated, " John Stropki has been an outstanding leader and only the seventh CEO in the company's 118 year history. The Board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to the company and the welding industry throughout his 41 year career. During his tenure, John transformed operations, oversaw numerous acquisitions and product innovations, and expanded Lincoln Electric's global footprint. He ultimately positioned Lincoln to be the clear leader in the industry, significantly increased shareholder value, and did so while staying true to Lincoln's mission and values. We thank John for his exceptional leadership and wish him and his family the very best."
During Mr. Stropki's leadership from 2004 to 2012, Lincoln Electric achieved:
- Revenue growth of over 120% from approximately $1.3 billion to $2.9 billion
- Cumulative cash flow from operations of $1.7 billion
- Dividend growth of 105% from $0.34 to $0.71
- Total shareholder return of 365%
Reflecting upon the company's results, Mr. Stropki noted, "I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished and of the extraordinary leadership team we have in place. Our Board has maintained a constant focus on succession and the transition of the CEO role has been seamless and very effective. Both the Board and I have great confidence in Chris' abilities to move the company forward. That, coupled with our 2020 Vision strategy, will position us as a solid and dynamic company with a truly exciting future."