It is with profound sadness that the Board of Directors of Linamar Corporation announces the passing of the Company’s Founder, beloved leader and long-time Executive Chairman, Frank Hasenfratz. Mr. Hasenfratz passed away peacefully on January 8th, 2022 at his home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 86 years old. The Corporation and its 26,000 employees extend their deepest sympathies to the Hasenfratz, Newton and Stoddart families for their loss.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of my father, Frank Hasenfratz,” said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz in a statement. “It was his vision and unrelenting drive that enabled us to build the company that Linamar is today. He leaves a tremendous legacy on the Canadian business landscape, changed the lives of so many, and provided careers, livelihoods and opportunities for thousands of people. He inspired and taught so many, myself most profoundly, and his spirit will live on in each of us as we continue to build the legacy of Linamar.”
Born in Hungary in 1935 and immigrating to Canada in 1957 following the Hungarian Revolution, Frank Hasenfratz is an inspiration for what can be achieved through hard work, determination and the entrepreneurial spirit. Frank began Linamar as a one-man operation in the basement of his family home north of Guelph, Ontario in 1966. His toolmaking and machinist experience along with his determination built the foundation for what has become a globally recognized multinational corporation that reflects his image and culture. Frank’s journey is the great Canadian success story.
Among his many accomplishments, Frank was honoured as the Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year, inducted into the Canadian Manufacturing Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Frank was a generous supporter of the greater Guelph community that helped grow his company and donated to numerous philanthropic causes including the Guelph General Hospital, Western University, St. Joseph’s Foundation and of the local performance arts.
Frank will most fondly be remembered in the halls and on the production shop floor at Linamar Corporation where he mentored a generation of manufacturing and business leaders. At Linamar, we will continue to live by Frank’s words to strive to continuously improve, act quickly and decisively, set goals and track progress and always “Do What We Do Best, Better”.
Though his business accomplishments are unparalleled, Frank was first and foremost a family man. He joins his late wife, Margaret Hasenfratz, and leaves behind his daughter Linda and son-in-law Ed and their four children, as well as daughter Nancy and son-in-law Mark.
As a matter of corporate governance related to the Executive Chair position, the Board of Directors has a succession and renewal plan in place which will be implemented in the coming weeks and will be announced to shareholders and the public in due course.
Funeral arrangements will be posted in the coming days.