UPDATE 1-Lincoln Electric promotes operating chief to top job

July 27 Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:23am EDT

July 27 (Reuters) - Lincoln Electric Co, a maker of welding products and other industrial equipment, said Friday it will promote operating chief Christopher Mapes to chief executive at the end of the year, while current CEO John Stropki will become executive chairman.

Stropki is 61 and a 30-year veteran of the company, while Mapes is 50, the Cleveland-based company said. Mapes, who joined the company in September 2011, previously led the electrical products unit at A.O. Smith Corp.

Lincoln Electric has been beefing up through small bolt-on acquisitions in recent months, buying an Ohio-based maker of metal processing systems and, in March, a California company that sells welding supplies used in energy and chemical markets.

Lincoln Electric is scheduled to report second-quarter results on Monday.

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