SEL names new CEO

Dave Whitehead was long-time team official and leader



Dave Whitehead was promoted to chief executive officer last month after serving in the Pullman area for over 25 years.

ELAYNE RODRIGUEZ, Evergreen reporter

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories promoted a long-time team official Dave Whitehead to the chief executive officer last month.

Stacey Doty, vice president of human resources at SEL, said Whitehead has been a leader for a long term in the sense of product development and leading large engineering teams.

“He is an engineer at heart [and] has worked in various roles throughout engineering all over our company,” she said.

Doty said it was a seamless process for him to grow up as the company has grown. SEL recognized that he was ready for that next step to take on more responsibility and greater roles as a chief executive officer.

Whitehead’s previous role was chief operating officer at SEL. He started his new position in the last couple of months.

“He was responsible for the alignment of our divisions to our values and principles,” Doty said. “[Now] he will take on a larger role and translating the corporate vision into effective corporate strategies and will continue to serve on our board of directors.”

She said he will be prioritizing quality, innovation, service profit and growth in that order.

He started as a hardware engineer about 25 years ago and has been very successful working with various teams and within SEL, Doty said.

“It was just the process of recognizing what he was already doing in the role as CEO, Doty said. “And at that point, the board and the executive team recommended to promote him as CEO.”

Whitehead has been in the Pullman area for 25 years or more and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1989 at WSU, she said.

“Dave has a tremendous amount of integrity,” Doty said. “We trust his leadership, we trust his decision making and we trust that he has the best interest of SEL at heart, no matter what decisions we are making.”