Libra Industries Promotes Jim Kircher to CEO with Retirement of Rod Howell


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Libra Industries, a privately-held systems integration and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider, has named Jim Kircher, President and Chief Executive Officer. Kircher has held various executive positions within the contract manufacturing industry for the past 20 years and has more than 30 years of experience in various technical industrial manufacturing positions. He has distinguished himself in key roles with Jabil Circuit – where he held multiple leadership positions across 10 years and as a Vice President with Flextronics.

Prior to joining Libra Industries in October 2020 as President, Kircher was the Chief Commercial Officer of Faulhaber US. He has a proven track record of creating customer-centric EMS organizations that execute successful growth strategies serving customers that require highly engineered, integrated systems. Kircher stated, “I am elated to join an agile-thinking, vertically integrated, EMS business with a world-class suite of capabilities and managers focused on solving the complex manufacturing needs of Fortune 500 customers. I look forward to being a part of the growth of this unique enterprise.”

Kircher succeeds Rod Howell, the founder of Libra Industries. Howell started in the industry working with his father machining customized fasteners. Later, he moved into selling industrial diamond cutting tools. In 1980, Howell and his brother, Chris, founded Libra Industries. Over the next 40 years, Howell led the successful growth of Libra into a world-class EMS contract manufacturer. 

In 2019, Howell sold a majority of Libra to CapitalWorks. In 2020, he led the merger of Libra with GEM City Engineering and Manufacturing and also led the acquisition of the former Benchmark Technologies facility in Guaymas, Mexico. Howell will remain an owner and board member. He said, “Libra is in a great position and in great hands for a transition. I am proud of our accomplishments, but even more excited about the future of this incredible business.”

Todd Martin, Managing Director and President of CapitalWorks, expressed his gratitude toward Howell’s “leadership and partnership” while welcoming Jim Kircher as the “right leader for the next generation of Libra.”

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