Management Team

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Michael R. Zimmerman
Executive Vice President

Michael R. Zimmerman is Executive Vice President, Polymers & Fluids of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Zimmerman joined ITW with the company’s acquisition of Permatex in 2005. Most recently, Mr. Zimmerman served as Executive Vice President of Construction Products. He also served as Group President for the Welding Oil & Gas Platform and was previously a Group President in the Polymers & Fluids Segment. He was elected Executive Vice President of Polymers and Fluids in 2018.

Mr. Zimmerman graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA with a bachelor’s degree in History and Economics and received a Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia University in New York City, NY.

Sharon Szafranski
Executive Vice President

Sharon Szafranski is Executive Vice President, Construction Products of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Ms. Szafranski began her career with ITW’s Food Equipment Group (FEG) in 1994 as a Sales Trainee. During her career at FEG, she progressed through many positions within the organization including Territory Sales Manager, National Account Manager, Product Line Director, Regional Sales Director, General Manager of Hobart’s Weigh/Wrap business and Vice President & General Manager of FEG’s North American Refrigeration Division. Ms. Szafranski was named Vice President and General Manager of Brooks Instrument, in the Test & Measurement and Electronics segment, in 2016. In 2019, Ms. Szafranski assumed the responsibility of Group President in the Test & Measurement and Electronics Segment. Most recently, she was elected Executive Vice President, Construction Products.

Ms. Szafranski graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

Lei Zhang Schlitz
Executive Vice President

Dr. Lei Zhang Schlitz is Executive Vice President, Automotive OEM of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Dr. Schlitz joined ITW in 2008 as Vice President, Research & Development at the ITW Technology Center. In 2011 she was appointed to Group President within the Food Equipment segment, managing the Global Ware-wash and Refrigeration platforms. She was appointed Executive Vice President, Food Equipment in 2015. Most recently, Dr. Schlitz was promoted to Executive Vice President, Automotive OEM. Prior to joining ITW, Dr. Schlitz spent seven years at Siemens Energy and Automation. Prior to joining Siemens, she spent four years at GE Global Research and GE Industrial Systems. She started her career at the Innovation Center for Eaton Corporation.

Dr. Schlitz currently serves on the Board of Directors for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).

Dr. Schlitz graduated from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Mechanics and received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Steven L. Martindale
Executive Vice President

Steven L. Martindale is Executive Vice President, Test & Measurement and Electronics of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Martindale served as Group President of Test and Measurement since ITW’s acquisition of Instron in 2005. He joined Instron in 2002 as Chief Financial Officer, and later served as Chief Operating Officer. In 2008, he was named Executive Vice President responsible for the Test & Measurement businesses and assumed responsibility for the consolidated Electronics businesses in 2011.

Mr. Martindale graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. He attended London Business School as well as other executive style programs. He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Mary K. (“Katie”) Lawler
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Katie Lawler is Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Ms. Lawler joined ITW in October 2014 and previously served as Executive Vice President, Human Resources for GATX Corporation. Prior to joining GATX, she held a wide range of positions in operations, human resources and law with Tribune Media (formerly Tribune Company). Ms. Lawler began her professional career as an attorney in private practice handling labor and employment matters.

Ms. Lawler graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and received a law degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.

Michael M. Larsen
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Michael M. Larsen is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Larsen joined ITW in 2013 and previously served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Gardner Denver, Inc. He also served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gardner Denver, Inc. from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Larsen was Chief Financial Officer at General Electric (“GE”) Water & Process Technologies. His previous experience includes more than 15 years with GE, where he held a number of global finance leadership roles with increasing responsibility.

Mr. Larsen graduated from the American University of Paris with a bachelor’s degree in International Economics and received a master’s of Business Administration from Columbia University and London Business School.

John R. Hartnett
Executive Vice President

John R. Hartnett is Executive Vice President, Welding of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Hartnett joined ITW with the company’s acquisition of Signode in 1986. He held a series of engineering, marketing, and management roles for numerous businesses in Industrial Packaging, including General Manager, Industrial Packaging Australasia. In 2001, he was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of Signode Engineered Products and became Group President of the Global Stretch Packaging businesses in 2007. Mr. Hartnett also served as Group President of the Automotive Aftermarket businesses. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President of the Construction Products segment.

Mr. Hartnett is a member of the Board of Directors of HNI Corporation.

Mr. Hartnett graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and received a master’s in Management from The Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Norman D. Finch Jr.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary

Norman D. Finch Jr. is Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Finch joined ITW in January 2017 from Sealed Air Corporation, where he had served as vice president, general counsel and secretary since 2013.  He also spent eight years at Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (now Zimmer Biomet) holding legal positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in the role of vice president, associate general counsel and chief compliance officer.  Mr. Finch began his legal practice at the international law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright).

Mr. Finch graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts (pre-law) and received a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Kenneth Escoe
Executive Vice President

Kenneth Escoe is Executive Vice President, Specialty Products of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Escoe joined ITW in 2014 as Vice President & General Manager of ITW’s Welding & Cutting Division. In 2016, he assumed the responsibility of Vice President and General Manager of Hi-Cone. Mr. Escoe was named Group President of the Packaging platform in 2019. Most recently, he was elected Executive Vice President of Specialty Products. In addition to his business leadership duties, Mr. Escoe is also an executive member of ITW’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and African American Network.

Mr. Escoe graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and received a master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Axel Beck
Executive Vice President

Axel Beck is Executive Vice President, Food Equipment of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Mr. Beck joined Hobart in Offenburg, Germany in 1989 as an Industrial Engineer. He then managed Hobart UK’s British manufacturing site for five years, before returning to Southern Germany in 2002 as Business Unit Manager Warewash Systems. In 2009, he was appointed to General Manager of Hobart, and in 2011, Vice President General Manager of Warewash International. In 2016, Mr. Beck assumed responsibility of Group President, Global Warewash. Most recently, he was elected Executive Vice President, Food Equipment.

Mr. Beck studied Business & Economics and Mechanical Engineering and graduated from the University of Applied Science in Offenburg, Germany with a master’s in Mechanical Engineering.