Randy Baker plans to retire as CEO of Menomonee Falls-based Enerpac Tool Group as of Oct. 8. He will be replaced by Paul Sternlieb, who most recently served as an executive at Chicago-based John Bean Technologies.
Baker has been CEO of Enerpac, and its predecessor Actuant, for the past five years. He called the role “a very gratifying portion” of his career and said he is proud of the transformation the company has gone through.
During Baker’s tenure, the company has gone from a diversified industrial company to a business focused on industrial tools and services. The process included reorganization of its business segments, the sale of several businesses and segments and the change of the company’s name.
Baker felt that it was important for someone else to lead the company as he approaches turning 60 and the business continues executing on its strategy, which includes plans for acquisitions.
“I have always felt that if you acquire, you need to run it,” he told analysts. “You can’t just decide to retire mid-stream if you acquire something, particularly if it is something of scale.”
Sternlieb was most recently executive vice president and president of the protein business at JBT. He previously held senior positions at Illinois Tool Works, Danaher, H.J. Heinz and McKinsey.
Baker said his own career benefited from working at large corporations, and he saw similar potential in Sternlieb, pointing out that great athletes are able to go from one sport to another and still find success.
“I really look at Paul as that type of athlete that can go from one company into the next and take what he’s learned from those experiences at major corporations and use it here at Enerpac,” Baker said.
Sternlieb said Enerpac had made “impressive strides” in becoming a pure play industrial tools and services business.
“This is an important time for Enerpac, as the company executes on its growth and profitability strategies while managing through a challenging market environment created by the uneven global recovery from the pandemic,” Sternlieb said. “I look forward to working with the team and the board to continue navigating this dynamic market, capture growth opportunities, and create value for shareholders.”
While the official transition will take place Oct. 8, Baker will stay on as a consultant through the end of the year.
Sternlieb will have an annual base salary of $750,000, plus eligibility for company bonus programs. He will also receive a $415,000 signing bonus, relocation assistance and a one-year temporary housing allowance.
Baker will continue to receive his current base salary through the end of the year.