Kohler executive chairman passes away

US off-road engine manufacturer Kohler has announced that its executive chairman Herbert (Herb) Vollrath Kohler, Jr. passed away on September 3 in Kohler, Wisconsin aged 83.
Ancillary Equipment / September 7, 2022
By Liam McLoughlin
Herb Kohler, who has died at the age of 83
Herb Kohler, who has died at the age of 83

The company says that his bold ideas and hands-on leadership transformed the plumbing products manufacturer founded by his grandfather into a global and diverse family of businesses synonymous with unmatched quality, creativity and bold innovation. 

He took the company into new businesses with more than 48 acquisitions over his tenure. He invested beyond plumbing products to strengthen the company’s other core business – Power – and expanded the portfolio with a series of acquisitions including Italian diesel engine manufacturer Lombardini in 2007 and France-based generator company SDMO in 2005. Today, Kohler claims to be the third largest global power systems organisation in the world.

Herb Kohler worked at the company for 61 years and became a director in 1967. When his father - Herbert V. Kohler, Sr. who was chairman and CEO - died in 1968 he became vice president of operations. He was named executive vice president in 1971, was elected chairman of the board and CEO in 1972, and president of the company in 1974. In 2015, he became executive chairman, with son David taking the helm as president and CEO. 

He is survived by his wife Natalie, two daughters and one son. Kohler says it will host a tribute to Herb Kohler for past and present associates on a date to be determined.

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