VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – STIHL, which manufactures gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment, has announced the appointment of Christian Koestler to the position of vice president of operations for STIHL. In his new position, Koestler will be responsible for directing U.S. activities in the areas of manufacturing, engineering, materials and procurement, logistics, buildings, maintenance and quality assurance. Peter Mueller, who is currently executive vice president of operations, will remain at STIHL until October, when he retires.
Originally from Munich, Germany, Koestler began his career with STIHL Inc. as an engineering intern twelve years ago and held various positions including manufacturing engineering manager and director of technology. In 2010, he accepted the position of global director of engineering, technologies and facility management at ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, in Germany, where he was responsible for technology and building expansions globally except for the U.S.
In April 2012, he returned to STIHL, which is the headquarters for U.S. operations for the worldwide STIHL Group. Koestler obtained his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Munich. He also holds an MBA from Averett University and is a doctoral candidate in engineering at Old Dominion University.
“Koestler exemplifies the highest standard of learning and individual growth potential at STIHL,” said Fred Whyte, president of STIHL. “Koestler raised the bar in our German office and has a proven record of success here at STIHL Inc. We are proud to welcome him back and are confident he will ensure our strong culture and commitment to excellence continues into the next generation of STIHL leadership.”
Koestler will replace Peter Mueller, who led the start up of the manufacturing operations for STIHL in the U.S. in 1974 and has overseen all operational aspects for the company for the past 38 years. Koestler resides in Virginia Beach with his wife and daughter.
“From the U.S. to Germany, a commitment to excellence is what I carry over to each position I maintain in the company and hope to continue to be a part of this company’s growth for years to come,” Koestler said.