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Horizon Solutions’ CFO/COO Herrmann Assumes CEO/President Role as Newton Retires

April 15, 2015
After more than four decades with Horizon Solutions and previously Oakes Electric Supply, Horizon Solutions’ CEO/President Jim Newton has announced his retirement. He will continue to serve as the chairman of Horizon’s board of directors.
Horizon Solutions (Scarborough, Maine, and Rochester, N.Y.): After more than four decades with the company and Oakes Electric Supply, Horizon Solutions’ CEO/president Jim Newton (left) has announced his retirement. He will continue to serve as the chairman of Horizon’s board of directors.

As part of the company’s succession plan, Mike Herrmann become CEO/president. To support the move, Horizon also announced a series of internal changes intended to streamline its day-to-day operations, positioning the company to accelerate the pursuit of its strategic plan. Horizon named Don Harrington as executive V.P. of operations and information technology; Karen Baker as executive V.P. of product, services and strategic marketing and David Hayes as executive V.P. of sales and marketing communications. In addition, Kathy Biesecker, senior V.P. of human resources, Bruce France as V.P. of branch operations and Sean Connelly, V.P. of finance will continue to provide key leadership support.

 “Mike and I have worked as a team for the past 15 years, and for at least the past two years, my retirement has been part of the plan,” said Newton. “During that time, we’ve worked closely with our board of directors on a succession plan. With the changes we’ve made to our leadership structure, the initial success of our long-term strategic plan and our continued strength as a solutions provider in each of our customer segments, this is the perfect time for Mike to take the reins.”

“We owe a lot to Newt,” said Herrmann in the company press release. “His vision and leadership have seen us through a period of intense transition and growth, including the merger that formed Horizon Solutions in 2000. “Newt and I have worked very closely over the years, and our strengths were very complementary,” said Herrmann. “Fortunately, Newt will stay involved as our board chairman, and we plan to keep him involved in mergers and acquisitions. On a personal level, it’ll be tough to see him step down – but I’m thrilled he’ll finally have the chance to pursue his interests in photography and boat building and do some traveling that doesn’t involve work.”

Newton started his career with Oakes Electric in 1973. Oakes and two other distributors – RERO Distribution and Holmes Distributors – joined forces in 2000 to form Horizon Solutions. Newton has been president/CEO of Horizon since 2004. Today, the company has 250 employees and eight locations across New England and New York. Since the consolidation of RERO Distribution, Oakes Electric and Holmes Distributors, the company has positioned itself as a leading provider of automation, electrical, industrial and safety products and services in the Northeast.