The former CEO of welding equipment manufacturer Lincoln Electric, whose career with the company spanned more than four decades, passed away at the end of last year.

Donald F. Hastings died on 27th December, 2016, aged 88.

Don hastings lincoln electric

Donald F. Hastings, former CEO of Lincoln Electric.

He first joined Lincoln as a trainee in its welding school in 1953 but soon rose to take over leadership roles within the organisation. He was named President of Lincoln in 1986 and then served as CEO and Chairman of the Board from 1992-1997.

During his tenure as CEO, Hastings achieved consecutive quarterly sales records through mid-1993 and celebrated achieving Lincoln’s $1bn sales goal in 1995 – the company’s centennial anniversary.

Christopher L. Mapes, Lincoln’s Chairman, President and CEO, said that Hastings will be remembered for his leadership and devotion to the company and added, “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.”


Hastings was honoured throughout his career, collecting a myriad of awards and creating scholarship programmes in the welding sector. He was revered at the National Welding Supply Association’s (NWSA) annual meeting in 1997 and also by the Gases & Welding Distributors Association in 2009. The Cleveland Engineering Society recognised Hastings with its 1998 Leadership Award and in 2001, he received the American Welding Society (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.

This is the second loss for Lincoln Electric to be made public this week, after the company announced that its Employee of the Century and welding industry pioneer Omer W. Blodgett passed away on 11th January, 2017.