Hypertherm Announces New CEO

Starting in 2015, Evan Smith will be the new chief executive officer and Jeny Levy the vice president of CSR.

Hypertherm Inc. (Hanover, NH), a U.S.-based manufacturer of plasma, laser, and waterjet cutting systems, has announced succession plans for the positions of the chief executive officer and the vice president of corporate social responsibility.

As of January 1, 2015, the current president, Evan Smith, will assume the role of chief executive officer from founder Dick Couch, who will retain the position of executive chairman of the board and trustee of the Hypertherm Stock Ownership Plan. Concurrently, the current director of corporate social responsibility, Jenny Levy, will assume the role of vice president, corporate social responsibility from Barbara Couch, who will in turn retain her roles as board director and chair of its corporate social responsibility committee. She will also remain as the president of the HOPE Foundation and sponsor of the company’s HOPE Team.

Smith, who was named the president in 2012, has served in a succession of business management and executive roles since joining the company 22 years ago. Under his commercial guidance as the vice president and the general manager starting in 2001, and then later on as the president, Hypertherm’s business has grown more than fourfold. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Levy joined the company in 2004, holding positions in sales and marketing before being named director of environmental stewardship in 2010, then promoted to director of corporate social responsibility in late 2011. She has played a leading role in building the company’s environmental sustainability practices, now widely recognized. Levy holds an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

This leadership succession announcement follows an announcement at the beginning of 2014 of the Couch family’s transfer of their controlling interest in Hypertherm to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making the company 100 percent associate-owned.

“Entrepreneurs and business founders are often not as good at building future leadership as they are at building the business,” said Dick Couch. “In conjunction with ensuring ownership continuity for Hypertherm, our board of directors has given leadership succession priority attention over the past decade. Barbara and I are proud of and confident in Evan and the leadership team now in place to carry the business forward for the long-term benefit of our customers, our associate-owners, and the communities in which we operate.”

“Dick and I look forward to remaining very active in the life of Hypertherm and our communities,” added Barbara Couch. “We couldn’t be more pleased and excited for the future of the company.”



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