Manitowoc Cranes has appointed Barry L. Pennypacker as chief executive, effective immediately. He will initially report to interim chief executive of the Manitowoc Company, Kenneth Krueger.
The current president of Manitowoc Cranes Larry Weyers will remain with the company as an executive vice president.
As soon as the Manitowoc Foodservice business has been spun off as an independent company, the Manitowoc Company will change its name to Manitowoc Cranes Inc, with Pennypacker as chief executive and Krueger as chairman.
Pennypacker was previously chief executive of Quantum Lean, a supplier of precision components that he founded in late 2012. From 2008 until July 2012 he was chief executive of Gardner Denver, which was acquired by KKR in early 2013 in a deal that resulted in Gardner Denver shareholders suing KKR which then settled out of court.
Before joining Gardner Denver Pennypacker worked at Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies, most recently as vice president, and before that he was with tool company Stanley Works and Danaher.
Krueger said: “Barry brings a fresh perspective to the Manitowoc Cranes business. His results-focused leadership style has led the transformation of several complex businesses through continuous process improvements, which delivered significant operational and financial performance improvements and increased shareholder value".
"Furthermore, Barry’s deep industrial expertise, coupled with the successful execution of numerous lean initiatives throughout his career, makes him an excellent candidate to build on Manitowoc Crane’s leading market positions to return the business to growth and improved profitability”.
This is a slightly odd appointment in that the company already had a chairman and a president, although it did make it clear that it was seeking a new chief executive for the Manitowoc Cranes business. Many assumed that with an experienced chairman on board it might appoint from within.
It could be of course that given that Kenneth Krueger only stepped in as an interim chairman, he will step down once the separation of the two businesses has been completed, leaving it free for the new man to become executive chairman – or chairman and chief executive while now ex-president Larry Weyers moves back into the role of president – or chief operating officer?
The crane industry is a tad unusual - being very specialised- and generally seems to do better with an industry ‘insider’ leading the business on a day to day basis and becoming an ‘insider’ can take a while when you enter in a senior position.