Jim Westdorp Elected Group President Kitchen & Bath
Jeff Mueller Elected President Global Faucets
KOHLER, Wis. – April 24, 2009 – At its annual meeting, the Kohler Co. Board of Directors elected David Kohler President and Chief Operating Officer of Kohler Co. He will be responsible for leading the Company’s Kitchen & Bath Group, Global Power Group, Interiors Group and Technical Services, reporting to Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
In announcing David Kohler’s promotion, Herb Kohler said, "As President of Kohler Co., David will have operating responsibility for driving the global manufacturing organization towards our strategic objectives by using our guiding principles and core competencies and his leadership. He will represent Kohler within the global and local community by participating actively with business leaders, customers, vendors and listening to many consumers."
In his expanded role, "David Kohler will assure we are all operating at the leading edge of product and process development maintaining a single level of quality across the product categories."
David Kohler began his work in the Company on summer jobs in 1983 and 1985 as a Stable Helper and as a Caster of Wellworth bowls, graduating from Duke in 1988, coming back to the Company for two years as Planning Analyst and a stint as a Foreman in the Iron Foundry.
This was followed by the Kellogg School of Management and an MBA in 1992, then a management development program as a buyer of fine china at Dayton Hudson in Minneapolis.
When Kohler Co. called in 1993, he accepted the offer of Director – Fixtures Marketing for Plumbing and Specialty Products. This led to VP – Sales in 1995, Sector VP of Plumbing North America in 1996, Group President of Kitchen and Bath in 1999, and Executive Vice President in 2007.
David Kohler was elected to the Kohler Co. Board of Directors in 1999 and its Executive Committee in 2007. He is a past Chairman of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Board of Governors of Manufacturing. He also serves on the boards of both Interface Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia; and International de Cerámica S.A.B. de C.V., headquartered in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The Kohler Co. Board of Directors elected Jim Westdorp to the role of Group President – Kitchen & Bath succeeding David Kohler. Prior to his election, Westdorp served in the role of President – Global Faucets and Kitchen & Bath Europe. In his new role, Westdorp is charged with providing leadership at both the operational and strategic levels for the worldwide kitchen and bath business, driving growth of market share and profitability. Jim is a member of the Company’s Corporate Operating Committee.
Westdorp joined Kohler in 1981 as an Accounting Analyst and within five years, managed the Corporate Planning function in Finance and eventually Business Development within Plumbing North America Marketing. In 1995, he became Director – Faucet Marketing and then Vice President & Business Manager – Kohler Faucets in 1996.
He is a past Chairman of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Board of Governors and past President of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute. Westdorp earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a Master’s in Business Administration from Marquette University.
Replacing Jim Westdorp, Jeff Mueller will move from the Managing Director of Kohler Mira showers in the United Kingdom where it has become the market share leader, to a broader responsibility for Global Faucets, headquartered in Wisconsin.
Mueller began his career at Kohler Co. in 1991 as a Foreman in Kohler Faucets and progressed through several positions within that business from Manufacturing Engineer, Mechanical Project Engineer, Supervisor – New Product Introductions to Director – Faucet Development Engineering. From 2006-2007, Mueller served as General Manager – Kallista, a boutique plumbing brand of Kohler, and from September 2007 as the Managing Director of Kohler Mira. Before joining Kohler, Mueller spent more than a decade working for his family’s plumbing and heating business and showroom.
Mueller holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Master’s degree in business administration, both from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power systems, furniture and decorative tile, and is the host hotel both in St. Andrews Scotland and Kohler Wisconsin of the 2010 British Open followed by the PGA Championship – two of the four golf majors.