WAI Global announced the appointment of Richard L. Keister as executive chairman of the company and his purchase of an undisclosed ownership position in the organization.
Keister most recently served as chief executive officer of Keystone Automotive Industries, which was acquired by LKQ Corporation in October 2007. He continues to serve as a member of LKQ’s board of directors.
Prior to his tenure with Keystone, Keister was president of Delco Remy International’s Aftermarket Group joining that company in 1997 following Delco Remy’s acquisition of World Wide Automotive.
Keister was the co-founder of the predecessor company to World Wide Automotive, serving from 1976 as president and chief executive officer of the start-up venture. In 1984, Keister expanded operations under the World Wide Automotive brand name focusing on the high-growth import vehicle market. The company launched remanufacturing factories and joint ventures in several overseas locations including Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China. Delco Remy acquired the business in 1997.
"Rick offers WAI Global extensive automotive experience, solid leadership skills and a commitment to business and professional growth for our team," said Jeffery Sween, chief executive officer of WAI Global. "His significant knowledge of both original equipment and aftermarket products and distribution channels will be a tremendous resource, and we look forward to benefiting from Rick’s more than 30 years of industry experience."
"The company is uniquely positioned with engineering, manufacturing and quality assurance infrastructure in China as well as resources in other low-cost regions all enhanced by a strong balance sheet to support its strategic growth plans within both the original equipment and automotive aftermarket industry," said Rick Keister. "I’m honored to have been invited to make an investment and join WAI Global. I look forward to working with all the WAI team members across North America, Europe and China on a successful and exciting future."
WAI Global manufactures and distributes its products to automotive Tier 1 original equipment and aftermarket manufacturers, remanufacturers and distributors from its own manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China as well as exclusive joint venture manufacturing plants throughout Asia, South America, Europe and the United States. For more information, visit www.waiglobal.com.