, the president of Fond du Lac-based outboard motor manufacturer Mercury Marine
will become the new president and chief executive officer of Neenah-based corrugated and plastic packaging manufacturer Menasha Corp.
replacing James Kotek
, who will retire in March, the company announced today.
Drees will become president and CEO of Menasha Corp. effective March 13.
On Tuesday, Mercury Marine's parent company, Mettawa, Illinois-based Brunswick Corp., announced
that John Buelow
would become president of Mercury Marine and that Drees planned to leave the company on March 3.
Drees joined Mercury Marine in 1998 and went on to hold various positions with the company before being named president in 2019.
"The board is excited about the future of the company under Chris' leadership,” said Donald Shepard III, chairman of the board for Menasha Corp. “As we have gotten to know Chris better, it became clear that his strategic vision, deep manufacturing and operations experience, and impressive leadership skillset make him a tremendous fit for Menasha Corporation's CEO role.”
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Kotek has been president and chief executive officer of Neenah-based Menasha Corp. since 2004. He joined Menasha Corp. in 1991 and held various financial, management, marketing and manufacturing positions before being named president of ORBIS Corp. In that position, he oversaw two of the largest acquisitions in the company’s history – LINPAC Group Limited’s North American material handling business in 2006 and Norseman Plastics Holdings Ltd. in 2008.
"It has been an extraordinary honor to serve as chief executive officer of Menasha Corporation," said Kotek. "To have had the opportunity to lead such a unique and historic business has been humbling. I'm proud of the success we achieved and of every employee who contributed to making that success possible. Finally, I'm confident that Chris Drees is the right leader to build on that foundation and drive the company to even higher levels of success in the future."
Drees and Kotek are both included in BizTimes Media's Wisconsin 275 list
of the state's most influential business leaders.