Lincoln Electric Holdings is mourning the loss of John Stropki Jr., the former chairman, president and CEO of the company, who passed away on May 11 at the age of 68.
“On behalf of the board of directors and the entire Lincoln Electric family worldwide, we extend our deepest condolences to John’s family at this difficult time,” said Christopher Mapes, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-based Lincoln Electric. “John was not only an icon at Lincoln Electric, but was one of the most respected leaders in our industry. His relentless passion for the company, its customers and the industry left an indelible mark that will continue to live on forever.”
Stropki had a successful career at Lincoln Electric for 41 years and served as the company’s seventh CEO from 2004 to 2012. Stropki started at Lincoln Electric as a summer intern while attending college and rose through the sales organization to become executive vice president and president, North America, in 1996. He joined the board of directors in 1998 and was promoted to chairman, president and CEO in 2004.
During his tenure, he transformed operations, oversaw numerous acquisitions and product innovations and expanded Lincoln Electric’s global footprint.
“He ultimately positioned Lincoln to be the clear leader in the industry while staying true to Lincoln Electric’s mission and values,” the company noted.
Stropki served on the boards of Sherwin-Williams, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling and Rexnord Corp. He also dedicated his time and efforts to support numerous industry associations and nonprofit organizations, including University Hospitals. Stropki earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University.