Thor co-founder leaving board chairmanship

Peter Orthwein

ELKHART — Peter Orthwein, co-founder and executive chairman of recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries Inc., will be stepping down as executive chairman July 31. The company said Orthwein will then have the title of chairman emeritus. The change is part of the board’s succession plan.

Orthwein, who is 73 years old, will remain an active member of the board. The Thor board will announce its new chairman before the end of its fiscal year, which is July 31.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to be part of Thor’s growth and to deliver results for our shareholders over the course of the last 39 years,” Orthwein said in a news release. “I am thankful to my colleagues at Thor and to the many people I have encountered in our great industry. As I transition into my new role as chairman emeritus, I have great confidence in the future of Thor and our industry.”

Orthwein and Wade Thompson created Thor in 1980 with the acquisition of the then-struggling and unprofitable company, Airstream, according to the news release. Thompson and Orthwein took the company public in 1984.

Orthwein has served the company in various roles, including chief executive officer and chairman.

A member of the industry’s Hall of Fame, Orthwein’s experience provides a unique and valuable understanding of the RV industry and its evolving market and he will continue to be an important, strategic member of the board, the company release states.

Thor is now a Fortune 500 company with revenue of $8.3 billion and net before tax earnings of $633 million in fiscal 2018.

Thor companies employ about 25,000 people.

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