Leader of Knorr-Bremse Sister Company Brings Track Record of Innovation and Market Growth
ELYRIA, Ohio – June 12, 2018 – Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, North America’s leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, has appointed Michael J. Hawthorne president and CEO, as well as a member of its executive board. Hawthorne will succeed outgoing president, CEO, and executive board member Berend Bracht, who is stepping down to take a role outside the company.
Since 2012, Hawthorne has served as president and CEO of New York Air Brake (NYAB), a sister company of Bendix within the Knorr-Bremse Group. His 23-year career at NYAB includes numerous leadership roles in engineering, product development, and management. Hawthorne’s experience also includes positions with Raytheon and General Electric.
Prior to his current role, Hawthorne spent a decade as director of New York Air Brake’s Train Dynamic Systems (TDS) division, where he was instrumental in driving exponential sales growth by developing a new market in energy management, and establishing a culture of innovation within the division. TDS is the worldwide leading industry expert in train dynamics. Hawthorne has also delivered more than 15 technical papers in product development and been awarded more than 20 patents. As president and CEO, he expanded NYAB’s technology footprint, product portfolio, and revenue base.
Hawthorne holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York; a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York; and a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.
“Mike’s well-deserved reputation as a talented and strategic executive has been known for years to many members of the Bendix team, and we’re pleased to welcome him aboard,” said Bendix Chairman Joe McAleese. “With his passion for ensuring a focus on strong customer relationships and support, as well as a shared belief in not just what Bendix has built, but also the promise of where we’re going, Mike will be a true and dynamic asset to our leadership team and the entire Bendix community.”
McAleese, Bendix COO Carlos Hungria, and Hawthorne will comprise the three-member Bendix Executive Board.
“The Bendix team’s technical achievements, business growth, employee spirit, and community support are admired across Knorr-Bremse’s North American family, and I couldn’t be more honored to become a part of this outstanding and talented group,” Hawthorne said. “Berend helped to set a very strong course of achievements, and I’m truly looking forward to helping continue the Bendix legacy of safety, innovation, and customer focus.”
McAleese added, “Under Berend’s leadership, Bendix has continued on its solid, sustainable path for growth and continuous improvement. His vision – complemented by strategic investment in key business areas – has ignited exciting innovations underway that mean even stronger and more effective customer solutions.”
Bendix has been a member of the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group since 2002. Knorr-Bremse is the leading worldwide supplier of pneumatic braking and related safety systems for commercial vehicle and railroad applications.