We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Friesen as CEO of OPHARDT Hygiene. Ken will be OPHARDT’s third CEO since our founding, and this will mark the first time that the company will not be directly led by ownership.
In his previous role as CFO, Ken established himself as an exceptionally collaborative, and energetic leader. Ken has developed a deep understanding of our core technologies, manufacturing practices, and product strategies, as well as how these pieces work together to create our unique market position.He is a passionate driver of digitalization both internally and in our products.
Ken Friesen succeeds Heiner Ophardt as CEO, who is plans to be more intensely focused on the company’s vision and innovations.
“We need to condense innovation cycles from years to months, and we need to marry that innovation with cost effective, volume driven manufacturing,” said owner Heiner Ophardt. “Ken, with his commitment to excellence by transparency, intelligent planning and timely implementation, is uniquely positioned to lead us in this direction.”
Before joining OPHARDT, Ken spent more than 20 years in various leadership positions at General Electric (GE) in North America. Most recently, as CFO and General Manager of GE Oil and Gas in Canada and previously as CFO at GE Lighting in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ken describes his time at GE as creating a necessary passion for the intersection of technology, global markets, and competitive manufacturing. This fascination has extended to his work at OPHARDT where he has regularly collaborated with our 7 manufacturing locations and customers across North America, Asia and Europe.
“Ophardt has a long history of delivering innovations that aid in our mission to break the chain of infection,” said Ken. “I am excited to continue that important mission with product launches like Smart from the Start (SFTS) dispensers and a complete refresh of our smart software, Kanary™. Together, these launches exponentially reduce the hurdle for adoption, so more customers can benefit from reduced infections, reduced costs, and better hygiene experiences.”