TULSA, Okla. — AAON Inc. announced that Norman H. Asbjornson, CEO and Founder of AAON, Inc. transitioned to the role of executive chairman, effective May 12, 2020. The company also announced that Gary D. Fields, president, assumed the role of CEO (in addition to his current position of president), also to be effective May 12, 2020.
As executive chairman, Asbjornson will lead the board and continue to provide the full benefit of his vast experience, knowledge, leadership, and guidance to support Fields as he expands his role at the company.
“Our company has many accomplishments to be extremely proud of over the course of its nearly 32-year history,” said Asbjornson. “Of the many notable achievements, however, one that ranks near the top of my list is how we have been able to successfully create and maintain a meaningful ownership mentality among all levels of employees at our organization. This was something that I set out to accomplish from the earliest days of the Company’s existence, and I firmly believe a significant amount of the success we have experienced can be traced back directly to our unwavering commitment to this philosophy.”
“It is truly an honor to assume the role of CEO of this amazing organization,” said Fields. “As the Company’s Founder and visionary who set the stage for the Company’s success, Norm Asbjornson molded AAON into one of the most respected, innovative and successful manufacturers in the HVAC industry through his intellect, business acumen, sheer will and determination. I welcome the opportunity to guide AAON and our tremendously talented, loyal, and hard-working employees as we continue to build on the solid foundation and strategic vision set by Norm.”
“The Board has been engaged in succession planning for several years and this transition is truly a win-win for the company and its stockholders,” Ken Lackey, independent Board member and chair of AAON’s Governance Committee, said. “Having served on AAON’s Board since 2007, I have witnessed on many occasions the immense value that Norm’s experience and entrepreneurial intuition provide the company. His transition to Executive Chairman will enable the company to continue to leverage this tremendous resource, while also helping Gary as he charts his own course as the second CEO in AAON’s history. Gary’s knowledge of the HVAC marketplace and outstanding leadership skills make him the perfect choice as AAON’s next CEO. We believe Gary’s leadership and ability to execute on the Company’s strategic plans will enable AAON to continue creating meaningful value for our stockholders for many years to come.”
In his new role as president and CEO, Fields will report to the board of directors. Asbjornson, as executive chairman, will also report to the board of directors. Since November 2016, Fields has served as president of AAON and was elected as a member of the board of directors in 2015. Fields has over 35 years of experience in the HVAC industry. Before joining AAON, Fields was an HVAC equipment sales representative at (and from 2002 to 2012, a member of the ownership group of) Texas AirSystems.