Parker Elects Tom Williams as Chief Executive Officer and Lee Banks as President and Chief Operating Officer; Don Washkewicz to Continue as Chairman of the Board.
Parker announced that its Board of Directors has elected company veterans Thomas L. Williams as Chief Executive Officer and Lee C. Banks as President and Chief Operating Officer, each effective February 1, 2015. Donald E. Washkewicz, who served as Chief Executive Officer since 2001, Chairman of the Board since 2004 and President since 2006, will continue as Chairman of the Board to allow for a smooth transition of his responsibilities. Mr. Williams and Mr. Banks have also been elected as members of Parker’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.
“Over the past decade, both Tom and Lee have been exposed to the entire global organization, including broad executive leadership preparation and strategy development. They each bring significant experience with all of Parker’s operating groups and have led the growth and development of Parker’s position in emerging markets. They are supported by a strong management team, all with the common goal of driving outstanding results across Parker’s businesses,” Washkewicz commented.
As an Operating Officer of the company since 2006, Mr. Williams joined Parker in 2003 as Vice President, Operations for the Hydraulics Group and in 2005 became President of the Instrumentation Group. Previously, he held a number of key management positions in four different business groups during a 22 year career at General Electric, including GE Capital, Aviation, Lighting and Transportation. Mr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University.
“I am honored and excited to accept this new role as Chief Executive Officer of Parker and will focus on continuing to build on its strong foundation, momentum, customer focus and innovative mindset. Our goal will be to continue driving significant operational improvements, profitable growth and product and service innovations for our customers. Parker has been at the forefront of technological advances for nearly a century and it is our vision to stay on the front line of innovation for the next 100 years,” said Williams.
“The Parker Board of Directors has been focused on leadership succession from the very beginning of Don’s tenure as CEO,” said Robert J. Kohlhepp, Lead Director. “This robust process has given us the benefit of evaluating the performance, qualifications and cultural fit of Tom and Lee for some time now, comparing and benchmarking them against a number of alternatives. We are confident that both Tom and Lee are the right leaders to continue the legacy of strong performance improvement at Parker. We welcome them to their new roles and to the Board.”
As an Operating Officer of the company since 2006, Mr. Banks joined the company in 1991. He was previously President of Parker's Hydraulics, Fluid Connectors and Instrumentation product groups and was a Vice President of Operations in the Climate and Industrial Controls Group. He also held increasingly responsible positions within sales and operations management including several division general manager positions. Mr. Banks has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from DePauw University and a Master of Business Administration from The Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago.
“I look forward to leading Parker’s global operations and to representing shareholders on the Board. Our ability to continue to collaborate as a team will help us drive exceptional operating performance. Parker is in a very strong position and I am excited to contribute to seeing us achieve new heights,” said Banks.
Tom and Lee will join Jon Marten, our Chief Financial Officer, to form our new Office of the CEO.
“Personally, I have never been more excited about Parker’s prospects for the future. I am continually impressed with the hard work and dedication of our employees…. Parker has the people, resources and technology to continue solving the engineering challenges of the modern world, and our future is promising,” concluded Washkewicz.