Hein named Fastenal’s new president; Oberton will stay on as CEO

By Nathan Hansen, Winona Daily News 

Fastenal named executive vice
president for sales Leland Hein as its new president Tuesday.

Hein will succeed Will Oberton, who
will stay on as CEO to mentor the 51-year-old Hein.

Related story: What distributors can learn from Fastenal 

Hein started at Fastenal in 1985 and
during his tenure has held numerous management positions in the company. He was
not available for comment.

In an interview Tuesday, Oberton
described the move as positioning the company for the future.

“(Hein) has demonstrated that he is
a long-term Fastenal employee,” Oberton said. “He exemplifies our values and is
a proven leader of people.“

Oberton is another long-term
Fastenal employee, joining the company in 1980 as a part-time warehouse worker.
Since then he has worked his way up in numerous sales and management roles. He
was named president in 2001 and has served as CEO since 2002.

Oberton said he has no immediate
plans to leave Fastenal and that he will likely be with the company for several
years to come.

“I have no timeline for leaving,” he
said. “But I owe it to the company to plan for the future.”

This leadership change comes a few
weeks after Fastenal announced strong but slowing second-quarter sales, topping
$804 million. The sales were partially driven by the installation of more than
5,500 vending machines across the country.

Vending machines now make up more
than 20 percent of the company’s total sales. Fastenal also has continued its
push to open new retail stores, cutting ribbons on 53 new locations since the
beginning of the year.

Fastenal also announced Tuesday the
promotions of three employees to executive vice president positions: Nicholas
Lundquist to operations, Kenneth Nance to eastern region sales and Gary
Polipnick to western region sales.


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