Wells Vehicle Electronics has begun its 119th year in business with a leadership change that is set to further propel the company into the future. The company’s board of directors has appointed Patrick Sommerfeld as president and chief operating officer (COO).
Since joining Wells in 2007 in the product management team, Sommerfeld has taken on leadership roles with increasing responsibility, most recently serving as the senior vice president of sales and marketing. In that role, he oversaw product, pricing, sales, marketing, content, customer service, technical service, and category management. Prior to Wells, Sommerfeld held various positions at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., based in Akron, Ohio.
Sommerfeld will be replacing Yoshi Ieda, who will become Wells Vehicle Electronics’ CEO. Ieda, who has served as the president and COO of Wells since NGK Spark Plug Co. LTD appointed him to the role in 2019, was pleased to announce the promotion. As a passionate and personable leader, Ieda has focused on making personal connections with associates throughout the organization and plans to be heavily involved in employee engagement initiatives moving forward.
“Under Pat’s continued leadership, Wells will progress with the same strategy the company has been working toward the past three years,” said Ieda.
“I am honored to follow behind such a great leader like Yoshi,” said Sommerfeld. “He is a true inspiration for all Wells associates. Like Yoshi, I will be highly engaged with our great associates throughout all of our locations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, Mexico, China, and our other global sites.
“My focus will continue to be on our great associates and customers,” added Sommerfeld. “These two groups have built a company that has allowed thousands of associates to foster lifelong careers and provide for their families. Wells has been delivering great products for nearly 120 years to a wide range of OE and Aftermarket customers, including Ford, General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Mercury Marine, CARQUEST, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts, as well as independent warehouse distributors. Wells will continue to focus on our core customer base while we expand our business through our Aftermarket Group and Wells Engineered Products Group, which services our OEM and specialty customers.
“Our Advanced Business Development Team is driving the development of new products and services to ensure the sustainability of Wells,” Sommerfeld continued. “Our patented Rotary Position Sensor technology, which came from this innovative team, is a great example of the products and services we are bringing forward as the transportation industry evolves from internal combustion engines to a higher percentage of electric vehicles.”