Lincoln Electric announces executive management appointments

August 9, 2005

Lincoln Electric International Holding Co., a subsidiary of Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc., has announced that David M. LeBlanc has been appointed president of Lincoln Electric Europe, succeeding Ralph C. Fernandez. Fernandez will become president of Lincoln Electric Latin America, succeeding LeBlanc. Both appointments are effective September 1.

In a separate statement, Lincoln Electric Holdings' subsidiary The Lincoln Electric Co. announced that it has elected George D. Blankenship as vice president, Cleveland Operations.

Fernandez joined Lincoln Electric in 1995 in the Automation Division and later was assigned to the company's International Group. In 1996 he was named president of Lincoln Latin America and was appointed president of Lincoln Electric Europe in 2001.

Fernandez started his business and engineering career as a project engineer with the E.I. DuPont Co. in Houston and later held engineering and executive management positions at Northern Telecom Corp. and Westinghouse Electric. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from the University of Florida.

LeBlanc began his career with Lincoln as a sales trainee in 1986. He later spent three and a half years with General Electric and subsequently received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1994. He returned to Lincoln after completing the Harvard program, initially on a project assignment, and then was appointed general manager of Lincoln Mexicana. He was named president of Lincoln Electric Latin America in 2002.

In addition to serving as vice president, Cleveland Operations, Blankenship retains his positions as vice president, Global Engineering, and vice president of engineering and quality assurance. He also is responsible for the David C. Lincoln Technology Center.

Blankenship manages the Cleveland-based manufacturing operations, which include the Machine and Consumables divisions and the company's global engineering and research and development (R&D) programs.

Blankenship joined the company in 1985 as an engineering trainee. He has held engineering and product development management positions of increasing responsibility and has served as the company's chief R&D engineer, responsible for the Machine Division R&D and development of equipment and process applications, and technology. He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University and presently holds several key patents in the welding field.

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