Welbilt, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of commercial foodservice equipment, announced today that its Board of Directors has elected William C. Johnson as President and Chief Executive Officer effective November 9.
Mr. Johnson is a seasoned and proven leader who will assume day-to-day leadership of the Company and will also join Welbilt’s Board of Directors. Cindy Egnotovich, Chairperson of Welbilt’s Board of Directors, commented, “After conducting a thorough and comprehensive search, the Board is confident that Bill’s over thirty years of experience in the commercial foodservice, industrial products and manufacturing sector are a great fit for Welbilt’s continued growth and the enhancement of shareholder value.
He has led strategic M&A, driven operating and supply chain excellence, optimized capital structures, and delivered productivity and margin enhancements. Bill is a proven leader who brings the experience, vision and values to lead Welbilt into the future as we pursue our priorities for excellence and growth. We look forward to working with Bill as we execute on our strategic plan and write the next successful chapter for Welbilt." Ms. Egnotovich adds, “The Board would like to express its sincere appreciation to Josef Matosevic for his leadership as interim CEO. As an integral member of the executive management team, Josef offered stability and continuity to Welbilt’s operations and customers, while ensuring the transition was managed both seamlessly and efficiently.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Johnson says, “I appreciate the Board’s support and confidence, and welcome the opportunity to re-enter the commercial foodservice industry with a company that embodies a strong culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Welbilt’s impressive growth, iconic brands and commitment to developing best-in-class commercial foodservice products and solutions combined with the strong management team in place, were among the factors that attracted me to this position.”
Mr. Johnson adds, “As CEO, I will leverage the leadership and executive management experience built over my career, along with Welbilt’s portfolio of award-winning product brands, to maximize results for our customers, deliver profitable growth and create value for shareholders.
There are tremendous opportunities to gain market share with our existing products and to bring other high-quality solutions and services to market, while remaining disciplined and focused. I am excited to begin working with the Board, management team and the exceptional group of business unit leaders to fulfill Welbilt’s potential as the industry leader.” Prior to joining Welbilt, Mr. Johnson was Chief Executive Officer of Chart Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTLS), a global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment for the industrial gas, energy, and biomedical industries.
He led the company’s operational and financial turn-around, including a series of strategic acquisitions and divestitures, business segment consolidations, capital structure improvements and efficiency enhancements, which resulted in significant top- and bottom-line financial growth and contributed to a three-fold appreciation in the company’s equity valuation during his tenure.
From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Johnson held various senior level positions at Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV), a leading global conglomerate manufacturer of industrial products. In his most recent role, Bill served as Vice President of Dover Corporation and President and Chief Executive Officer of Dover Refrigeration and Food Equipment where he was responsible for six operating companies generating $1.7 billion in revenue and over $220 million in earnings.
Prior to that he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Dover’s Hill Phoenix division, a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial refrigeration systems, and President and Chief Executive Officer of their Triton Systems division, a designer and manufacturer of ATM’s Earlier in his career, Mr. Johnson was President and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Corporation, a publicly traded manufacturer of oil refining, petrochemical and power equipment.
Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of ESAB Welding and Cutting Equipment, a manufacturer of welding, cutting, and steel industry scarfing equipment. From 1990 to 1999, he held various positions of increasing responsibility at ABB (SWX:ABBN), a $35 billion manufacturer of electrification, robotics and motion, industrial automation, and power grid products. Mr. Johnson began his career as a Commissioned Officer and Nuclear Engineer in the United States Navy where he served from 1985 to 1990. Mr. Johnson holds a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University and an M.B.A. from Rollins College.