Kennametal (IW 500/324) Chairman, President and CEO Carlos Cardoso will retire Dec. 31, 2014, after leading the company as president and CEO for nine years and chairman for seven of those years.
"I've often said to our employees and publicly that seven to 10 years is the optimum time period for a chief executive to manage most effectively. With this in mind, I’ve worked regularly with the board on management succession," said Cardoso.
"Everyone at Kennametal has worked very hard in recent years to establish a good long-range plan, solid strategies, and we now have a complete and effective management team in place. With that in mind, this has emerged as the best time to engage in a smooth leadership transition."
Cardoso joined Kennametal in 2003 as president of its Metalworking Solutions and Services Group, later being appointed to executive vice president and COO.
The board of directors expects to name a successor before the end of the year, and will consider both internal and external candidates for the position.
"Carlos Cardoso has served well as a strong leader through an important time in the company’s history," said Kennametal Lead Director William R. Newlin, chairman of Newlin Investment LLC. "We appreciate the efforts Carlos has made on behalf of the company and look forward to working together with him to achieve a smooth transition in leadership."
Cardoso's retirement from Kennametal marks the end of a true story of the American Dream. Cardoso, who came to the U.S. when he was 17, learned English and eventually made a career for himself in manufacturing, becoming the head of a $2.6 billion company.
"Like many of you, a career in manufacturing made it possible for me to live the American Dream," Cardoso said during his keynote address at the 2014 IndustryWeek Best Plants conference. "That career provided a path to lifelong learning and a great livelihood for me and my family."