Frederick P. Stratton, Jr.
Frederick P. Stratton, Jr.
Frederick P. Stratton, Jr. is the chairman emeritus of Briggs & Stratton, the world's largest producer of air-cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the company was co-founded by his grandfather, Harold M. Stratton, in 1909. The company is also a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of home and standby generators, pressure washers, snow throwers and lawn and garden equipment.
Stratton joined Briggs & Stratton in 1973, beginning as assistant service manager and quickly rising through the company to become president and CEO in August 1977. In November 1986, he became chairman and CEO, two positions he held until he retired in December 2001. He was named chairman emeritus of the company in 2003.
During his tenure as CEO, the company faced critical challenges to its leadership position, including the entry of moderately priced premium Japanese engines, increased domestic competition and demand by mass retailers for lower prices. Stratton led the effort to meet these challenges. The company was reorganized into product-focused divisions, new efficient plants were built, product design and overall performance was improved and product lines expanded. Stratton prudently managed operating and capital costs, formed joint ventures in Japan and China, and increased company presence in other foreign markets.
Briggs & Stratton managed to retain its top spot among small engine manufacturers, something Stratton views as his most important accomplishment while leading the company.
Prior to joining Briggs & Stratton, he spent eight years at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. Stratton began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co., where he worked from 1963 to 1965.
Stratton graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Administration from Yale University and received his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Stratton also holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Stratton has shared his extensive executive experience as an active member of several corporate boards including: Allen-Bradley, Baird Funds, Bank One Corporation, Elkhart Lake's Road America, Marine Corporation, Midwest Airlines, Pabst Brewing Company, Weyco Group, and Wisconsin Energy Corporation.
Due to his commitment to civic duty and charitable service, Stratton has also served in a variety of leadership roles on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including: Columbia Hospital, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Inroads Milwaukee, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Hearing Society, Milwaukee Redevelopment Corporation, United Performing Arts Fund, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, University School of Milwaukee, and Youth Leadership Academy, Connecticut College, Hoover Institution, Inroads, Inc., Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation, Inc., Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the Stanford Business School Advisory Council, and the Senior Advisory Committee for Engineering at Yale.
The Wisconsin Historical Society celebrated the lifetime achievement of Mr. Frederick P. Stratton, Jr., along with three other individuals with Wisconsin ties, during the Fifth Annual History Makers Gala in Milwaukee in May 2010. Stratton received The S. C. Johnson Award for Distinction in Corporate Leadership.