Gentex CEO Fred Bauer: From startup to global giant.
Longtime Gentex Corp. CEO Fred Bauer, 74, is retiring, the company said Friday, concluding his more than four-decade career since the company's inception in 1974.
"During Mr. Bauer's remarkable career, Gentex has grown from a startup, to a company with approximately $17 million in market capitalization at its initial public offering in 1981, to approximately $6 billion in market capitalization today," the company said in a statement.
Bauer's successor is Steve Downing, senior vice president and CFO, a promotion the company referred to as the "logical next step to maintaining the foundations for success established by Mr. Bauer."
Gentex, headquartered in Zeeland, Mich., pioneered the electrochromic mirror and introduced the first exterior auto-dimming mirror in 1991 on the Cadillac DTS. Gentex supplies rearview mirrors and automotive safety, lighting and electronics components.
The company employs about 4,000 people. It ranks No. 91 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $1.64 billion in 2016.