Thor Industries Announces New Chief Innovation Officer

Addition is key to sustainable growth across global family of operating companies

ELKHART, Ind., Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, THOR Industries (NYSE: THO), the owner of companies that together form the world’s largest recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturer, announced the creation of a new executive leadership team position.  The new role of Chief Innovation Officer will play a critical part in the future success of the organization by optimizing and evolving the global product portfolio, leading operational technologies and advancements and championing digital strategies across the THOR family of operating companies. 


Josef Hjelmaker has joined THOR as the Chief Innovation Officer, reporting to Bob Martin, THOR President & CEO.  With a rich expertise in automotive and consumer products, Hjelmaker will lead the Company’s innovation strategies for emerging consumer and vehicular technologies.  Hjelmaker’s extensive experience includes numerous leadership roles at Delphi Electronics & Safety focused on industry-leading product development in the safe, green and connected space.  Most recently, Hjelmaker led the global cooking product development organization at Whirlpool Corporation where he focused extensively on the development of smart technologies designed to enhance the consumer experience.  

“Josef has an impressive track record of bringing innovative consumer-centric product solutions to the market, which is a key component to our long-term strategy,” shared Bob Martin, THOR President & CEO.  “Welcoming Josef to our leadership team is a monumental step toward THOR’s goal of continuing to lead the industry in innovation for years to come. His leadership and innovation mindset  combined with his ability to partner to advance the consumer experience aligns perfectly with our global growth strategies.”

“It is an honor to join the THOR team.  I am extremely excited to be part of a team with exceptional focus on the consumer experience and drive for innovative solutions,” stated Josef Hjelmaker, THOR Chief Innovation Officer. “Together with the talented THOR team and our valued partners, I am eager to harness the many developing technologies in our space in a way that maximizes the user experience for owners of THOR products as we fulfill our transformative purpose of connecting people with nature and each other.”

Hjelmaker is joining the THOR Executive Leadership Team effectively immediately and will be located in the THOR corporate headquarters in Elkhart, Ind.

About THOR IndustriesTHOR Industries is the sole owner of operating subsidiaries that, combined, represent the world’s largest manufacturer of RVs. Founded in 1980 by Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein with the purchase of Airstream, Elkhart, IN-based THOR has grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions. For more information on the Company and its products, please visit: https://www.thorindustries.com/.

Contact: Tyler Deur, [email protected]

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SOURCE THOR Industries, Inc.