Lincoln Electric elects board chairman

October 18, 2004

Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. has announced that its board of directors has elected John M. Stropki as chairman of the board. Stropki, named president and CEO in June, succeeds Anthony A. Massaro, who is retiring at the end of October after more than 11 years with the company. In keeping with company policy, Massaro also is retiring from the board.

"We are very pleased to name John as chairman," said Harold Adams, a Lincoln director who chairs the board's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee." John is only the seventh chairman to be named in the history of this great company. His field and management experience, his energy, and his commitment to the company will serve Lincoln well."

Stropki began his Lincoln career 35 years ago, working in the company's Cleveland factory while he was an engineering student at Purdue University. He joined the company after graduation as a sales trainee and rose through the sales organization. He was named executive vice president and president, North America, in 1996, and was elected to the board of directors in 1998. He served as COO, responsible for the company's North America, Latin America, Europe and Russia, Africa, and the Middle East subsidiaries, from May 2003 to June 2004.

Stropki earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue and also has an M.B.A. degree from Indiana University.

Stropki is a member of the American Welding Society, the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Presidents Council, and the Gas and Welding Distributors Association. He also serves on the Board of Governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and was a board member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association and the Great Lakes Science Center. He is active in the American Lung Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Commenting on Massaro's retirement, Adams said, "Under Tony Massaro's strong leadership over the past seven years, the company has successfully expanded its global footprint, facilitated entry into new markets and joint ventures, and increased share of the arc welding market worldwide."

Massaro joined the company in 1993, after a 26-year career with Westinghouse in its nuclear, international, and automation division. He spent his initial years with Lincoln in London, England, first as president of Lincoln Europe, and later as president of Lincoln International. He was named president and COO in January 1996; CEO in November 1996; and elected board chairman in May 1997. He currently serves on the boards of PNC Financial Services, Thomas Industries, and Commercial Metals Company.

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