ERM from the Top

Since its founding in 1895, Lincoln Electric has been a top-down driven company. John C. Lincoln launched the business with a capital investment of only $200 and a focus on electric motors. In 1911, Lincoln and his younger brother, James, hit upon the product that would define their future—the world’s first variable-voltage, single-operator, portable welding machine.

Today, Lincoln Electric is a Fortune 1000 company that manufactures welding products, arc welding equipment and robotic welding systems. That original $200 has more than paid off—sales in 2012 were a record $2.9 billion.

When the company’s risk manager, John Hach, saw an opportunity to move Lincoln Electric to an enterprise risk management (ERM) platform, he knew he needed company leaders to champion the project.
This interview is part of a continuing RIMS Q&A series spotlighting ERM practitioners. For more, visit the RIMS Strategic and Enterprise Risk Center at

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