Gigante Named CEO at TK Waupaca

Aug. 1, 2007
Also, Cowden, Eckl, Carden assigned to new executive positions

Industrial group ThyssenKrupp made several senior management changes at its metalcasting subsidiary, ThyssenKrupp Waupaca Inc. Gary Gigante is the new chief executive officer of the gray and ductile iron foundry group. TK Waupaca, headquartered in Waupaca, WI, operates three plants there and another in Marinette, WI; a fifth in Tell City, IN; and a sixth in Etowah, TN.

Gigante has held various positions in the company over 26 years, having begun his career in metalcasting at Waukesha Foundry before joining ThyssenKrupp Waupaca in 1981. He started as a metallurgist at the Waupaca Plant, and served as plant manager at the Marinette, WI, Plant. He was promoted to vice president of Manufacturing in 2002. Gigante became president and chief operating officer for TK Waupaca in 2004. He is a 1978 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, with a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering.

In addition, Gigante named John Cowden as v.p. of Finance and chief financial officer; Franz Eckl as v.p. of Business Development; and Gary Garbe as v.p. of Human Resources.

John Cowden joined TK Waupaca in 2004 as CFO, having been an executive in finance with Eaton Corp., and division controller and later v.p. of Finance with Remy Inc.

Franz Eckl joined TK Waupaca in April. He began his career in process development and production with Audi AG before joining ThyssenKrupp's corporate development and investment planning operations in 1998. In 2001, he became project manager and plant manager for TK Rautenbach Castings. He moved to the U.S. in 2004 as president and CEO of ThyssenKrupp Stahl Co.

Garbe joined TK Waupaca in 1973 and has held a range of positions in the organization, including laborer, core room supervisor, molding supervisor, production superintendent, and kaizen/JIT facilitator. He became personnel manager in 1993, and director of Human Resources in 2005.