PITTSBURGH Harry Kletter will step down as Industrial Services of America Inc.s (ISAs) chief executive officer in May, a role he had intended to exit last summer.
Kletter, 85, told AMM that his exodus took longer than anticipated because he wanted to leave the business that he founded more than half a century ago on solid footing.
"I had to get everything in good order. We went into stainless four years ago, and then times got tough and we gave about a third of it back," he said. "It is all good now. Management is in good order, and so is the physical aspect of the company."
Kletter, who said he wont seek re-election to ISAs board of directors at its annual meeting to be held in May, had planned to vacate his chief executive officer role in July and exit the board by December 2012. He announced his plan to retire last May, at the time handing the role of chairman to Orson Oliver (amm.com, May 18).
"After spending the past 60 years in this industry, it is time for me to retire," Kletter said. "The company has now regained its footing, and I have the utmost confidence in management to move the company forward."
The Louisville, Ky.-based metals recycler and scrap processor is working to find an interim chief executive to step in for Kletter in May.
Under Kletters leadership, the Louisville yard has grown to a 60-acre auto salvage, shredding and scrap processing facility from a 20-acre site.
Kletter hopes to spend time on the sidelines mentoring and educating the younger generation about the nature of the business, he said.
"My philosophy on the scrap business is you have to work at it. This is not a forgiving business where you can just hand it over and it will continue to run itself. It is a tough business," he added.