Tuesday 23 July 2019

New US ambassador to Ireland gets $6m payoff

US ambassador Edward Crawford stepped down from ParkOhio
US ambassador Edward Crawford stepped down from ParkOhio
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The newly-appointed US ambassador to Ireland, businessman Edward Crawford, has been given a $6m (€5.3m) golden handshake by American industrial firm ParkOhio after retiring from the board to officially take up his tenure in Ireland.

Mr Crawford (81) was CEO at ParkOhio for 26 years and most recently its president.

He became a major shareholder in the company in 1992 when he sold his Kay Home Products business to the group. He also became CEO and chairman at that time.

He was nominated ambassador to Ireland by Donald Trump last year, and officially confirmed in the role by the US Senate last Thursday.

The US ambassadorship to Ireland had been left vacant by Mr Trump since he formally took up office as president in January 2017.

ParkOhio is a diversified industrial holdings firm that operates in sectors such as aerospace and defence, medical equipment, furniture, semiconductors, oil and gas, and consumer electronics.

It operates about 90 manufacturing, distribution and service facilities and employs roughly 6,000 people.

It generated sales of $1.7bn (€1.5bn) in 2018, and net income of $53.6m (€47.8m). Listed on the Nasdaq in New York, it has a market capitalisation of $391m (€349m).

ParkOhio told investors that Mr Crawford was confirmed by the US Senate as ambassador to Ireland on June 13.

"As a result, effective June 17, 2019 Mr Crawford has retired and resigned as president and from the boards of directors of [ParkOhio] Holdings and [ParkOhio] Industries," it noted. "In connection with Edward Crawford's retirement, the independent directors of [ParkOhio] Industries approved a one-time retirement payment to Edward Crawford in the amount of $6m," the company confirmed.

His son, Matthew Crawford, has been CEO and chairman at ParkOhio since 2018, having previously been president and chief operating officer between 2003 and 2018.

He has been a director of the group since 1997 and will now assume the role of president of ParkOhio Holdings and ParkOhio Industries.

Edward Crawford's parents were from Ireland and travelled to the United States in the 1920s.

The businessman has been closely involved in the Irish-American community in Cleveland, Ohio.

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