Wayne Lewis is leaving his post as president of sheet extrusion line maker Welex Inc., the company announced April 5.
Lewis, who joined Welex in 1980, has held several positions including plant manager, general manager and vice president. He became president in 2007.
David Borthwick, chairman of W Bar E Inc., the holding company that owns Welex, said in a news release that Lewis has agreed to stay on during a transitional period while the board of directors searches for a new president. W Bar E has appointed a search firm, he said.
According to the release, Lewis said he originally had planned to leave the company four years ago, but instead stayed on as Welex moved manufacturing from its headquarters in Blue Bell, Pa., to a new plant in Greenville, N.C., in 2007. (The headquarters remains in Blue Bell, a Philadelphia suburb.)
Lewis also stayed to oversee several new product launches.
Wayne Lewis' wife, Welex marketing manager Nancy Lewis, also is leaving the machinery company, Borthwick confirmed when contacted April 5.
The departure of Wayne and Nancy Lewis follows the retirement of then-President and co-founder Frank Nissel at the end of last year. Nissel and John G. Hendrickson started Welex in 1967. Hendrickson's family owned extruder maker Welding Engineers Inc. The Hendrickson family continues to own W Bar E.
Nancy Lewis is Frank Nissel's daughter. She did not return a telephone call for this story.
Other current management officials will remain at Welex, Borthwick said.
Welex has got a great group of people, he said.
In the news release, Welex's board of directors announced Wayne Lewis will leave his post to pursue other endeavors outside of the plastics industry. Borthwick said the board appreciates his long service to the company.
He has been instrumental in leading Welex during a pivotal time in its history and consequently we have big shoes to fill, Borthwick said in the release.
Wayne Lewis praised Welex employees, who he said have made Welex a technology leader in sheet extrusion machinery.
Due to their hard work, the company is firmly positioned for strong growth, Lewis said in the release.
W Bar E's other plastics-related holding, bi-metallic barrel maker Wexco Corp., got a new president in April 2010. Speaking by phone, Borthwick said Dave Weber has been very successful as the new president of Lynchburg, Va.-based Wexco.
This is a time when there's great talent out there, so I'm very hopeful that we'll get someone very good to lead Welex, Borthwick said.