The Kohler Co. board of directors has elected president and CEO David Kohler to the additional role of chair of the board, following the passing of his father Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., executive chairman, on September 3, at age 83.
“I learned so much from my father, including a tireless strong work ethic, leading with candor and humility, and always driving to innovate,” said the new chair.
“He believed that you must have passion for whatever you do in life if you want to be successful,” said Kohler.
David Kohler has been with Kohler Co. for over 31 years, the company said, and was elected to the role of president and CEO in 2015, having previously served as president and chief operating officer since 2009.
Working alongside his father for decades, he said, “showcased the impact of embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, not being afraid to fail, and always striving for accuracy and consistency. He left an indelible mark on me personally and professionally.”
The firm said its board of directors had previously undertaken a comprehensive succession planning process to ensure an orderly transition of leadership to guide the global, privately held organization.
“The Board is confident in David’s deep experience, strong leadership, and passion for bold innovation to continue driving our company forward well into the future,” the firm said.
“David has proven to be an inspiring and forward-thinking leader for our associates around the world, including in times of uncertainty throughout the global financial crisis, the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and a variety of other challenges,” said the company.
Under his leadership, the company surpassed $8 billion in annual revenues in 2021.
The organization said it has experienced substantial global expansion in both cutting-edge manufacturing facilities and immersive kitchen and bath showrooms, including the global portfolio of Kohler Experience Centers, as well as significant growth in e-commerce and digital capabilities.
The firm said, “David will chair the board of directors and executive committee, in addition to his role as CEO which will include full scope responsibility for the three business groups of Kohler Co., kitchen and bath, power, and hospitality, and all enterprise functions.”
He is the fourth generation of Kohler family leadership since the company’s inception in 1873, and only the ninth person to lead the company over the last 149 years.