Fastenal Names New President

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

This story by Nathan Hansen originally appeared on the Winona Daily News website out of Winona, MN. Run in Industrial Distributionwith permission.

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.

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.