Fred Whyte, former president, CEO and chairman of the board of STIHL, passed away on Friday, July 7, 2017, after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia; he was 70 years old.

Whyte began his STIHL career in 1971, working as a regional manager for STIHL American, the same company where his father had worked. He moved up the ranks at STIHL in the U.S., and at the age of 34, led STIHL’s expansion and operations in Canada.

In 1992, Whyte returned to the United States as president of STIHL Inc. After serving for more than 45 years and leading STIHL Inc. for 23 years, Whyte retired, and served as board director and chairman for the company thereafter.

“Fred Whyte was a man who had both substance and style, and we are forever thankful for his leadership of our organization,” said Bjoern Fischer, current president of STIHL Inc.

He is survived by his wife Karen, his daughter Jean, his son and daughter-in-law John and Stacy, and his twin granddaughters, Klarise and Isla.