David Kohler named president of Kohler Co.

The Kohler Company board of directors, at its annual meeting, elected David Kohler president and chief operating officer of the Kohler Company.

David Kohler is the son of Herbert V. Kohler Jr., who is the chairman of the board and the chief executive officer of the Kohler Company. Herbert Kohler Jr. was also the president of the company, prior to his son’s election to that post.

In his new role David Kohler, 42, will still report to Herbert Kohler Jr., 70, who remains in the top position in the company. Previously David Kohler oversaw the company’s Kitchen & Bath Group and Technical Services division. In his new role he will also oversee the company’s Global Power Group and Interiors Group.

Herbert Kohler Jr. will continue to oversee the company’s other division, the Hospitality and Real Estate Group.

"As president of Kohler Co., David will have operating responsibility for driving the global manufacturing organization towards our strategic objectives by using our guiding principles and core competencies and his leadership," Herbert Kohler Jr. said. "He will represent Kohler within the global and local community by participating actively with business leaders, customers, vendors and listening to many consumers. David will assure we are all operating at the leading edge of product and process development maintaining a single level of quality across the product categories."

David Kohler is the fourth generation of family leadership of the Kohler Company. The company was founded by John Michael Kohler, who is the grandfather of Herbert Kohler Jr. and the great grandfather of David Kohler.

David Kohler began working for the Kohler Company on summer jobs in 1983 and 1985 as a stable helper and as a caster of Wellworth bowls. He graduated from Duke University in 1988 and then worked for the company for two years as a planning analyst and as a foreman in the iron foundry. Then he went to the Kellogg School of Management and received his MBA in 1992. He worked in a management program as a fine china buyer for Dayton Hudson in Minneapolis. Then he rejoined Kohler Co. in 1993 as director of fixtures marketing for plumbing and safety products. He became vice president of sales in 1995, senior vice president of Plumbing North America in 1996, group president of Kitchen & Bath in 1999 and executive vice president in 2007. He was elected to the company’s board of directors in 1999 and to its executive committee in 2007.

The Kohler Co. board also elected Jim Westdorp as group president of the Kitchen & Bath Group, succeeding David Kohler in that role, and Jeffrey Mueller was elected president of Global Faucets, replacing Westdorp in that role.


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