STIHL Inc. Names Auditorium in Former President’s Honor
STIHL Inc. kicked off the new year paying homage to and dedicating its U.S. headquarters’ auditorium to former President Fred J. Whyte. On Jan. 10, 2023, Whyte’s wife, Karen Whyte, and STIHL Inc. President and CEO Terry Horan unveiled the newly named Fred J. Whyte auditorium during an afternoon ceremony at the company’s administration building in Virginia Beach.
Whyte began his STIHL career in 1971 as a regional manager for STIHL American, the same company where his father had worked for nearly two decades. In 1982, the Stihl family asked him to establish Canadian operations for STIHL. After 10 years with STIHL Ltd. in Canada, he was named STIHL Inc. president in 1992, a role he held for 23 years.
Under Whyte’s presidential tenure at STIHL Inc., the company experienced 22 years of annual increases in sales and revenue and became the number-one-selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America. He retired from this position in December 2015, and served as sole director and chairman of the board of directors for STIHL Inc. In this advisory role, Whyte provided strategic counsel to the company’s executive council and reported to STIHL International, where he worked closely with the Stihl family in Germany. Whyte passed away in July 2017 at age 70.