Mr. Fred J. Whyte was appointed to the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors on July 1, 2010. He currently serves as Rector and chair of the Executive Committee and also chairs of the Presidential Evaluation & Compensation Committee.
Mr. Whyte is the president of STIHL Incorporated. He is responsible for the overall management of STIHL's U.S. operation, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Prior to his appointment in 1992, Whyte was the president of STIHL Limited, the company's Canadian affiliate.
Mr. Whyte began his career with STIHL in 1971, working as a regional manager for STIHL American, the same company where his father had worked for nearly two decades. He became product manager for STIHL Inc. in 1975 and was promoted to national sales manager just four years later.
At the age of 34, Mr. Whyte became president of STIHL Limited, where he founded the Canadian operation in 1982 and served until he became president of STIHL Incorporated. During his 10 years at STIHL Ltd, the Canadian company achieved increases in sales each year. The tradition of achievement continued under Whyte's presidential tenure at STIHL Incorporated, which experienced 17 consecutive years of annual increases in sales and revenue prior to the recent recession. Also, under Whyte's leadership, STIHL achieved the status as the number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America (based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009 U.S. sales and market share data).
A native of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Mr. Whyte is a magna cum laude graduate of Seattle University and holds a master's degree in communications from the University of Iowa. Currently he is on the the board of directors for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the CHKD Foundation, and previously served as president of the Portable Power Equipment Manufacturers Association (PPEMA).
Mr. Whyte and his wife Karen reside in Virginia Beach.