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Proto Labs names new CEO to succeed Cleveland [Star Tribune (Minneapolis) :: ]
[February 06, 2014]

Proto Labs names new CEO to succeed Cleveland [Star Tribune (Minneapolis) :: ]

(Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 06--A CEO who last year turned around and sold another industrial company, has been hired to succeed retiring Proto Labs CEO Brad Cleveland, who led the Internet-enabled, quick turn manufacturer for 13 years.

Victoria M. Holt took over Thursday as Proto Lab's chief executive.

Holt was CEO of Spartech Corp., a publicly-held supplier of sustainable plastic sheet, compounds and packaging materials, where she engineered a two-year turnaround and 73 percent jump in operating earnings. That led to Spartech's sale to PolyOne Corp. for a rich premium to Spartech shareholders, according to a Proto Labs news release on Thursday.

Analysts and investors have considered Proto Labs, where the stock was up after the announcement Thursday afternoon, a possible acquisition target by a larger industrial concern.

Proto Lab's stock price, which traded up 3 percent to $78.15 per share Thursday afternoon, has ranged from $39.64 per share to $89.97 over the last year.

Proto Labs, Minnesota's most-successful initial public offering of the last decade, has risen by more than 400 percent in value since it went public in February 2012 at $16 per share.

Before Spartech, Holt was a senior vice president at PPG Industries, the big coatings and specialty products company. She also served in leadership positions with Monsanto Company and its successor, Solutia, Inc. in various management, sales, and marketing roles.

"Vicki's track record of leading companies with large and diverse operations while delivering profitable growth and shareholder value makes her an excellent choice to lead Proto Labs," said Larry Lukis, the founder and chairman of Proto Labs. "Her energy, enthusiasm and management style fit well with our culture.'' The company said Holt will be unavailable for interviews until after Proto Labs reports year-end 2013 earnings later in February.

Holt said in a prepared statement: "Based on years of experience in technology-based manufacturing businesses, I truly understand and appreciate the unique value Proto Labs delivers to its customers.'' Neal St. Anthony -- 612-673-7144 ___ (c)2014 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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