One of the co-founders of Elkhart-based Thor Industries is stepping down as executive chairman. Peter Orthwein will remain on as chairman emeritus with the recreational vehicle manufacturer.

"It has been a tremendous privilege to be part of Thor’s growth and to deliver results for our shareholders over the course of the last 39 years," said Peter Orthwein, executive chairman of Thor. "I am thankful to my colleagues at Thor and to the many people I have encountered in our great industry.”

Orthwein and Wade Thompson created Thor in 1980. The company went public in 1984. In a news release, Thor said it’s one of just a handful of publicly traded companies that’s been in business for nearly forty years and can show profitability in each of its years.

In a joint statement from Thor’s executive management team, the company said of Orthwein, "Peter has been the heart and soul and architect of Thor’s growth strategy since its inception.” The company says sales in 2012 were $3.3 billion. Today revenue is $8.3 billion of the Fortune 500 company.

The company says a new chairman will be named before July 31, which is the end of the fiscal year for Thor Industries.

Thor is the number one supplier of RVs in the U.S. Its products include travel trailers, folding campers, and motorhomes. It owns many well-know RV brands, including Airstream, Dutchmen, Jayco, and Starcraft.

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