ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M issued the following statement today from Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer on the passing of Lewis W. Lehr, former 3M chairman and chief executive officer:
“Lew Lehr was a visionary who helped build 3M into the enterprise we are today. Over a 39-year career, during which he rose from an engineer to chairman and CEO, Lew pioneered 3M’s move into the health care industry, strengthened our R&D capabilities and accelerated our expansion into international markets – including our entry into China in 1984, when 3M became the first wholly owned foreign enterprise in that country. Lew’s commitment to volunteering and giving back to the community also set an example for all 3Mers to follow.
“On behalf of our entire 3M team, we salute Lew for his leadership and extend our deepest condolences to his family.”
Mr. Lehr was 3M’s chief executive officer from 1979-1980, chairman of the board and chief executive officer from 1980-1986, and served on 3M's board of directors from 1974-1991. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Lehr served as president of 3M’s U.S. operations, and also held leadership positions in the company’s industrial and health care businesses. After service in World War II, he joined the company in 1947 as a technical service representative in 3M’s tape business.
A native of Nebraska, Mr. Lehr earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Nebraska.