Lincoln Electric International Holding Company, a subsidiary of Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. has announced that David M. LeBlanc has been appointed president of Lincoln Electric Europe, succeeding Ralph C. Fernandez. Fernandez will become president, Lincoln Electric latin America, succeeding LeBlanc. Both appointments are effective Sept. 1, 2005.
John M. Stropki, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “These two key changes to our global management are a result of our highly successful succession planning and executive management development programs. We are building a cadre of managers with global experience and perspective that will continue to Lincoln’s growth.
“Both Ralph Fernandez and Dave LeBlanc have established winning teams and achieved significant successes in their regions. Ralph has served Lincoln with distinction in Europe, strengthening our management, operations and business structure in the region. He will be returning to a position he previously held in our Latin American region and will contribute to develop our strong team there.
“Dave and his team have achieved outstanding operational, commercial and financial results in the competitive Latin American market. Now, his strong leadership capabilities will be key to continuing to drive our successful organization in Europe,” Stropki added.
Fernandez joined Lincoln Electric in 1995 in the Automation Division and was later assigned to the company’s International Group. In 1996, he was named president of Lincoln Latin America and was appointed president of Lincoln Electric Europe in 2001.
He started his business and engineering career as a project engineer with the E.I. Dupont Company in Houston and later held engineering and executive management positions at Northern Telecom Corp. and Westinghouse Electric.
LeBlanc began his career with Lincoln as a sales trainee in 1986. He later spent three-and-a-half years with General Electric.
He returned to Lincoln initially on a project assignment, and then was appointed general manager of Lincoln Mexicana. He was named president of Lincoln Electric Latin America in 2002.
George Blankenship Named Vice President, of Cleveland Operations
The Lincoln Electric Company also has elected George D. Blankenship as vice president, Cleveland Operations. This is in addition to his position as vice president, Global Engineering, of the company’s worldwide business.
With his new responsibility, Blankenship will manage all of Lincoln’s Cleveland-based manufacturing operations, which include its Machine and Consumables divisions, and also will continue to manage the company’s global engineering and research and development (R&D) programs.
Previously, Blankenship was vice president of Engineering and Quality Assurance of The Lincoln Electric Company. He will retain responsibility for those functions and the David C. Lincoln Technology Center in his new position.
“George has successfully managed our strategic initiative to consolidate and enhance our product development capability, facilities maintenance and quality assurance,” said Stropki.
“He has insightful understanding of our products, manufacturing processes, business structure and our culture — all of which are critical to ensure our competitiveness in a global marketplace. Under his leadership, our research and product development programs established a world-class benchmark in the welding industry.”
Blankenship joined Lincoln in 1985 as an engineering trainee. He has held engineering and product development management positions of increasing responsibility and has served as the company’s chief R&D engineer, responsible for Lincoln’s Machine Division R&D and development of equipment and process applications and technology.
For more information, visit www.lincolnelectric.com.