Lincoln Electric Names Current COO As Next CEO

Welding equipment maker Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. said Friday that Christopher Mapes, its chief operating officer, will become its president and CEO at the end of the year.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Welding equipment maker Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. said Friday that Christopher Mapes, its chief operating officer, will become its president and CEO at the end of the year.

John Stropki Jr., 61, Lincoln's chairman, president and chief executive since 2004, will move to the role of executive chairman and help with the transition, the company said.

Mapes, 50, has served as chief operating officer since September 2011 and has been a member of the company's board since February 2010. He has more than 25 years of executive experience with industrial companies. Before joining Lincoln, he was an executive vice president at A.O. Smith Corp. and president of its electrical products business. 

Stropki joined Lincoln full-time in 1972 after working summers in the factory while he was a college student. He joined the board in 1998 and was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2003, before becoming chairman, president and CEO in 2004. 

Lincoln shares rose 78 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $43.68 in morning trading. They are down 13 percent from their 52-week high of $50.36 set at the end of May.

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