At its annual meeting April 29, the Kohler Co. board of directors announced two executive management moves.
The Kohler board elected Herb Kohler Jr., chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), as executive chairman, effective June 1. He will continue to chair the board, lead its executive committee, oversee shareholder communications, and manage corporate mergers and acquisitions and the hospitality & real estate group. The board also elected David Kohler, president and chief operating officer (COO) since 2009, as president and CEO. His duties will expand to include responsibility for the company’s corporate staff and three of its business groups.
Kohler Co. has a comprehensive succession plan for all middle- and upper-management positions. This change is part of an orderly transition to ensure the company is able to adhere to its mission of creating a higher level of gracious living and guiding principles of living on the leading edge of design and technology while maintaining a single level of quality.
“I am confident that after 24 years with the company and seven years as president and COO, David is prepared to take on the chief executive role and to grow Kohler Co.,” said Herb Kohler.
David Kohler brings to the role an extensive business and management experience, including progressive leadership positions at Kohler Co. and experience with other companies. Under his leadership, the company will remain focused on innovation and technology and build its internal talent pool to ensure continued business success. He will advance the company’s three-plank sustainability platform: reducing its environmental footprint, developing more plumbing product options that enable consumers to conserve water in their homes, and supporting important environmental awareness and education causes.
In his new role as executive chairman, Herb Kohler looks forward to ensuring leadership continuity. “We are fortunate to have a solid foundation in place,” he said. He added he draws upon his passion for exploration. “Our job is to explore and to discover, and each day try to break new ground.”