Lincoln Electric announces year-end leadership transition

July 31, 2012

Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc., Cleveland, has announced that John M. Stropki Jr., who has been chairman, president, and CEO since 2004, will become executive chairman of the board, and Christopher L. Mapes will be named president and CEO, both effective Dec. 31, 2012. Mapes has been serving as COO since Sept. 1, 2011, and has been a member of the board of directors since February 2010.

Stropki joined the company in 1972. Named executive vice president and president, North America, in 1996, he was elected to the board of directors in 1998, was named executive vice president and COO in 2003; and was elected chairman, president, and CEO in 2004. He has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Mapes started his career with General Motors and has more than 25 years of progressive executive experience with global industrial manufacturing and distribution companies. Before joining Lincoln Electric, he was executive vice president with the A.O. Smith Corp. and president of its Electrical Products unit. He holds a bachelor's degree from Ball State University, a law degree from the University of Toledo (Ohio), and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Lincoln Electric is a manufacturer of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment, and brazing and soldering alloys.

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