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Leadership change at East Penn Manufacturing

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After 32 years as a leader at East Penn Manufacturing Co., one of the world’s largest makers of lead-acid batteries, Dan Langdon has retired as CEO, the company announced.

Under Langdon’s leadership, the Lyon Station-based company achieved significant growth. Landon, who became president of the company in 1994 and CEO in 2014, will join the board of directors.

Chris Pruitt, the president and former chief financial officer, was promoted to CEO, effective Jan. 1.

Pruitt, who will retain the title of president in his new role, joined the company in 1994 as controller. He became chief financial officer in 1999 and president in 2014.

East Penn Manufacturing is Berks County’s largest employer, with 7,300 employees at its sprawling headquarters in Lyon Station and a distribution warehouse in Lower Macungie Township. The company employs another 2,000 people worldwide.

East Penn was founded in 1946 by the Breidegam family, which still owns the private company.

“We cannot thank Dan Langdon enough for the tireless service and leadership that he has brought to this company,” Dan Breidegam, chairman, said in a statement.

“My family and I are pleased to continue to work with Chris to help move this company forward. He has been a pillar in our company, as well as the community, and he will continue to uphold my family’s vision and values.”

East Penn makes lead-acid batteries and accessories for the automotive, commercial, marine and telecommunications markets.

The company has been expanding in recent years to meet increased demand. In 2016, East Penn opened a $150 million, 590,000-square-foot plant at its headquarters to make industrial batteries for three of its main divisions that include batteries for automotive vehicles, rail and renewable energy.

The same year, East Penn bought 40 acres from Kutztown Publishing Co. in Maxatawny Township for $4.9 million, where it planned to relocate its research and development division on lithium ion batteries.

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