David Kohler succeeds father at Kohler Co.

By Mike Brezonick13 September 2022

The Kohler Co. board of directors has elected President and Chief Executive Officer David Kohler to the additional role of chair of the board, following the passing of Executive Chairman Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. on Sept. 3 at age 83. The board had previously undertaken a comprehensive succession planning process to ensure an orderly transition of leadership to guide the global, privately held organization.

David Kohler David Kohler

David Kohler will chair the board of directors and executive committee, in addition to his role as CEO which will include full scope responsibility for the three business groups of Kohler Co. (Kitchen & Bath, Power, Hospitality) and all enterprise functions.

David Kohler has been with Kohler Co. for more than 31 years and was elected to the role of president and CEO in 2015, having previously served as president and chief operating officer since 2009. He is the fourth generation of Kohler family leadership since the company’s inception in 1873, and only the ninth person to lead the company over the last 149 years. Under his leadership, the company surpassed $8 billion in annual revenue in 2021.

“The board is confident in David’s deep experience, strong leadership, and passion for bold innovation to continue driving our company forward well into the future,” the company said in a statement. “David has proven to be an inspiring and forward-thinking leader for our associates around the world, including in times of uncertainty throughout the global financial crisis, the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and a variety of other challenges.

“David understands the importance of developing a strong culture of dedicated associates passionate about innovating, inspiring, and delighting our customers. He draws upon the legacy of past Kohler leaders and our company’s established framework – grounded in our mission and guiding principles – to ensure company stability, sustained growth, and long-term success.”

“I learned so much from my father, including a tireless strong work ethic, leading with candor and humility, and always driving to innovate,” said David Kohler of his father. “He believed that you must have passion for whatever you do in life if you want to be successful. Working alongside him for decades showcased the impact of embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, not being afraid to fail, and always striving for accuracy and consistency. He left an indelible mark on me personally and professionally.”

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