WHITTIER, Calif.—William Krames has said more than once that the trail he has traveled in the rubber industry has been a rags-to-riches-to-rags story. He was jesting.
He did start out with little and climbed the ladder to success in the rubber industry pretty quickly, but he never really fell off that perch even though he went from a top slot at a large firm to the presidency of a small troubled company he purchased—Santa Fe Rubber Products Inc.
Krames led the company out of the red and into the black within a few years. Despite some downturns in the economy and recessions during the last three decades, Santa Fe Rubber has continued to prosper.
After almost 30 years at the helm of the custom rubber product producer, Krames has stepped down as president and CEO. He'll continue to serve as chairman of the company but will not handle the day to day operations.
He selected Michael L. Peterman, an experienced executive manager who joined the firm in 1999, to manage the firm's business development, as his replacement. For the last four years, Peterman has served as general manager of the Whittier-based company.
As for Krames, he won't simply fade off into the sunset.
In a recent interview, he said his wife of 51 years, Ginny, "has been on my case to pull back from SFR for several years so we can spend more time traveling and just hanging out. I will have a very limited role as chairman of Santa Fe Rubber and will continue serving on a couple of company boards, which should keep me involved and feeling somewhat productive.
"Of course, I still have acreage (to tend to on his ranch in California) and the animals and horses that should provide me opportunities for a good dose of manual labor."