Former Lincoln Electric chief executive officer (CEO) Donald F. Hastings passed away on Dec. 27, 2016, at the age of 88.
Hastings had a 44-year career at Lincoln Electric. He joined the company in 1953 as a trainee in its welding school after earning a degree in economics from Pomona College and a master’s degree in marketing from Harvard Business School. Hastings held various leadership positions in the organization. In 1986, he was named president and served as CEO and chairman of the board from 1992 to 1997. During his tenure as CEO, Hastings achieved consecutive quarterly sales records through mid-1993 and celebrated achieving Lincoln’s $1 billion sales goal in 1995 – Lincoln’s centennial anniversary.
“Don Hastings will be remembered for his leadership and his devotion to Lincoln Electric during his more than 40-year career,” says Christopher L. Mapes, Lincoln Electric’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are indebted to Don and have lost a good friend, who will be fondly remembered. Everyone at Lincoln Electric extends heartfelt condolences to his family.”
During Hastings’ career and through retirement, he was involved in numerous professional organizations. These include serving as chairman and CEO of the Cleveland Council of World Affairs; an executive committee member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association; chairman of the International Trade Alliance; chairman of the Cleveland World Trade Center; and chairman and was on the board of governors for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). He also served on a number of professional organizations’ boards, including the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation; Salvation Army Cleveland; Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University; and Lake Erie College.
Hastings was honored at the National Welding Supply Association’s (NWSA) annual meeting in 1997 and also by the Gases & Welding Distributors Association (formerly the NWSA) in 2009. The Cleveland Engineering Society recognized Hastings with its 1998 Leadership Award. In 2001, he received the AWS Counselors Award for outstanding service to the welding industry.
AWS has honored Hastings’ career in the welding industry with two scholarships. The Donald F. Hastings Scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering or welding engineering technology. The second, the Donald and Shirley Hastings Scholarship, is funded through direct contributions made to the AWS by Hastings and his wife, Shirley, to promote higher education in welding.