September 27, 2022

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Herb Koehler, billionaire heir to Wisconsin faucet fortune, dies at 83

Herb Koehler, billionaire heir to Wisconsin faucet fortune, dies at 83

The focus of the Koehler brand during his tenure was design. Koehler accelerated the company’s strategy of bringing cyclical design novelty, extensive color choices, and automaker luxury additions to the boring home fixture market.

According to the company, Koehler was generating $6 billion in annual revenue the year Herb Koehler resigned in 2015, up from $133 million when he started. Last year, it posted $8 billion in revenue.

During his tenure, Koehler acquired several companies and competitors: Baker Furniture, McGuire Furniture, and Sterling Faust, along with engine and generator manufacturers. But he is best known for his “Bold Look of Kohler” campaign, which brought green avocado and golden harvest appliances into the kitchen and later introduced all-sound-powered bathrooms.

In 1981, he too He created the American Club Resort, located in Kohler, Wisconsin, a five-star and five-star resort as a way to expand the hotel business. It was built on the site of what the company’s workers used to live in in the early 1900s.

Kohler himself was known for experimenting with company whirlpools, testing Kohler’s candy, creating and playing all golf courses, and he even imported a breed of black sheep common in Ireland to make one course look more authentic.

Being a passionate golfer, Koehler built four courses in Wisconsin, eventually bringing the Ryder Cup to the Whistling Straits Course at Sheboygan in 2019.

Kohler was founded in 1873 by John Michael Koehler, grandfather of Herb Koehler, an Austrian immigrant, along with Charles Silberzan, who later sold his minority stake. It is still privately and family owned.

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