Electrical People: Wright Picked to Lead Osram Sylvania

Osram Sylvania (Danvers, Mass.):  Grant Wright has been appointed CEO/CFO of Osram Americas and president and CEO/CFO of Osram Sylvania effective July 1. He succeeds Jes Munk Hansen who was appointed CEO of the recently formed Lamps Business Unit. Wright will be responsible for the Osram business in North, Middle and South America.  Over the past 19 years Wright has held various financial leadership positions in Osram, most recently serving as the CFO of the Americas region for the last two years.  Prior to Osram he spent 10 years at General Electric with their Aircraft Engines and Power Systems divisions. He holds a BS degree from Bentley University in Economics and Finance.

Halco Lighting Technologies (Norcross, Ga.): Rob Freitag is joining the company as director of product development. Freitag has over 25 years of product and marketing management experience, most recently as V.P. of marketing for Eye Lighting International. Prior to Eye, Freitag held a variety of product management leadership roles for the Day-Brite Group and Cooper Lighting. Freitag has a Bachelor of Science in industrial design from Kent State University.

Southwire (Carrollton, Ga.):  Southwire Co. named Rich Stinson as its president as the company begins a transition in leadership. Stinson, now group president of electrical systems and services for Eaton Corp., will join Southwire on Oct. 15. After initially serving as president under president and CEO Stu Thorn, Stinson will assume the role of CEO following an orderly transition period. Thorn previously announced plans to retire after more than 14 years leading Southwire.

Since Thorn became Southwire’s top officer in 2001, he has guided the company through a period of innovative new products and diversified growth, where annual sales trebled to more than $5 billion and the company became one of the world’s largest wire and cable manufacturers. Under his leadership, the company has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability — focusing on the environment, employees, communities and ethics. Thorn has been instrumental in leading innovative shared-value educational initiatives, such as 12 for Life (www.12forLife.com).

In his current role, Stinson is responsible for a large business group with seven divisions. The group offers a comprehensive portfolio of services for every stage of a power system’s life cycle, including design, build and support. Starting in the Westinghouse Manufacturing Development Program for projects in Puerto Rico, Stinson served in multiple disciplines such as engineering, manufacturing and supply chain before joining Eaton. There, he worked in a variety of roles, including plant manager, operations director and general manager of various facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico. As a vice president, he led Eaton’s power distribution assembly, industrial controls, electrical assembly and power distribution divisions.

Stinson has more than 30 years of experience in industrial manufacturing. While at Eaton, he has led double-digit growth in different businesses and guided various company segments into top market positions.  Stinson earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He plans to relocate from Pittsburgh to Georgia, Southwire’s home base.

Burndy/Hubbell (Manchester, N.H.): Hubbell recently announced the following leaders to its Burndy and Harsh & Hazardous businesses within its Hubbell Construction & Energy (HCE) Group. David Smith has been named V.P. and general manager, BurndyUSA within the new HCE Group. He will have overall responsibility for the Burndy organization in the United States and will be based in the Manchester office. Smith brings eight years of leadership experience with Hubbell Lighting (HLI), including roles as brand V.P. for the Columbia and Alera businesses and V.P. of operations, HLI. Prior to joining Hubbell, Smith spent 13 years at Westinghouse and General Electric in a variety of operational roles. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in manufacturing engineering from Western Carolina University and an MBA from Queens University of Charlotte.

Warren Jenkins has been named V.P. and general manager, Harsh & Hazardous Connectors and Lighting. In this role, he will have overall responsibility for the Killark, Hawke, Chalmit, Victor, Vantage and RigPower businesses on a global basis and will be based in St. Louis. Jenkins has been in the industry for more than 20 years, most recently as Burndy’s V.P. of sales and marketing. Prior to rejoining the company in 2010, he held leadership positions with Cooper Crouse Hinds and Ideal Industries.

Andrew Thexton has been named V.P. and general manager of Burndy’s Harsh & Hazardous Communications unit. He will have overall responsibility for the GAI-Tronics and Austdac businesses on a global basis and will be based in Mohnton, Pa. Thexton was president and CEO for Cableform prior to its acquisition by Hubbell in 2013.  Most recently, he was V.P. of engineering with Hubbell Industrial Controls with the additional responsibility for operations at the Cableform, Powerohm, and EC&M facilities. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the College of William & Mary.

W.W. Grainger Inc. (Lake Forest, Ill.): DG Macpherson assumes the newly created role of COO of Grainger, effective Aug. 1. Most recently, Macpherson was senior V.P. and group president, Global Supply Chain and International. As part of the changes, Court Carruthers, senior V.P and group president, Americas, will be leaving Grainger at the end of July.


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