Press & News

Linamar Chief Linda Hasenfratz Talks Leadership


To kick of 2015, Felix Global Corp. was the Lead Sponsor for the Strategic Capability Network (SCNetwork) event held last month. The SCNetwork’s annual CEO Spotlight was on Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corporation.

Linda was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year — the first woman to hold the national title in the event’s 21-year history and has transformed the success of this Guelph based auto parts manufacturer through her leadership. Linamar recorded revenues of 3.6 billion CAD in 2013 and operates 45 manufacturing facilities around the world with 19000 employees.

Last month’s event allowed us to hear about Linda’s success at Linamar and shared insights on the importance of innovation, team management, long term planning and succession in leadership.

Did you know…

Linamar was started by Frank Hasenfratz as a one-man machine shop in his basement! The name of the company (Li-Na-Mar) is derived  from the names of his two daughters Linda & Nancy, and his wife Margaret.

Here are a few takeaways we wanted to share:

Leadership Succession
“There is nothing more important as a leader, than developing your successor. To me if your successor isn’t as successful, or hopefully more successful than you, then you’ve failed as a leader.” – Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz

Linda emphasized the importance of having a succession program in place for organizations across all sectors to ensure a strong leadership pipeline. At Linamar, in order to promote this across all levels, the organization has launched a program – ‘Each One Teach One’. The rationale behind this according to Linda is that if each person is teaching another person to develop for another role or position, they are automatically enhancing the depth of capability within the organization thus ensuring a highly skilled workforce and talent pipeline.

“Succession and leadership development have been key factors for the organization for the last many years and into the future as well”, she added.

Linda spoke passionately about the culture of translating process efficiency and innovation into product innovation. Linda believes innovation in business along with the way business is led gives the organization a competitive advantage.

At Linamar, there is a strong culture to ensure a balance between modernization and efficiency in driving the operations thus making them a competitive and successful organization.

Building and Maintaining Strong Teams
Having a strong team is critical to a successful organization. She credits the success of the organization to the strong senior leadership team that provides a strategic path to the organization. Some members of Linamar’s executive team have been working together for many years thus providing a solid foundation for the company to prosper in. She said “There is a lot of water under the bridge which has been experienced together as a team and that helps them work closely with each other and run the company successfully.”

Similar to the entire automobile industry, Linamar had seen some turbulent times in 2008-2009. She added “You grow a lot as a leader by enduring challenging times”. The organization had to make difficult decisions with regards to restructuring their employees.  Linamar’s communication and transparency is critical in such times of distress. She believes that – ‘Tough Times don’t last but Tough Teams do!’  Linda reiterated this throughout the challenging times in order to hold her teams together and successfully see them through presumably one of the most challenging times the automobile Industry had ever seen.

Below is a snapshot of what we got to hear at the SCN event last month.

Felix Global Corp. is a proud corporate sponsor of the Strategic Capability Network (SCNetwork). For more information on the organization please visit –

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