Charles G. Koch
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Charles G. Koch is chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc., a position he has held since 1967. Since then, the company has been transformed into a dynamic and diverse group of companies employing more than 100,000 people worldwide, with about 60,000 of those in the United States, and a presence in about 60 countries. Since 2003, Koch companies have invested about $80 billion in acquisitions and other capital expenditures. Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries is involved in refining, chemicals, biofuels and ingredients; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; electronic components; commodity trading; minerals; energy; ranching; glass; and investments. From January 2009 to present, Koch companies have earned more than 1,200 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service. Familiar Koch companies’ brands include STAINMASTER® carpet, LYCRA® fiber, Quilted Northern® tissue and the Dixie® brand of cups, plates and cutlery.
Much of Koch Industries' success can be traced to Mr. Koch's interest in and commitment to scientific and social progress, which led to the development and implementation of the Market-Based Management® business philosophy. Mr. Koch has written two books about MBM: “The Science of Success,” published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and “Good Profit,” published in 2015 by Crown Business. “Good Profit” explains how any organization – including nonprofits – can apply the principles of MBM in a way that enables it to succeed by benefiting society as a whole. Mr. Koch is further developing the theories and expanding the practice of MBM, as well as other applications of the science of human action, not only throughout Koch companies; but also with scholars, non-profit leaders, government officials and other business leaders.
He has continuously supported academic and public policy research (including a number of Nobel Prize winners) for 50 years, with a special focus on developing voluntary, market-based solutions to social problems. This interest led Mr. Koch to found or help build a number of organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies, Cato Institute, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Bill of Rights Institute, Market-Based Management Institute, Charles Koch Foundation, and Charles Koch Institute.
As a reflection of Mr. Koch’s business leadership and community involvement, he has received a number of honors and awards, including:
- Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Service to America Award (2015)
- William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership, Philanthropy Roundtable (2011)
- Recognition Award, Wichita State University Alumni Association (2008)
- Herman W. Lay Memorial Award, The Association of Private Enterprise Education (2005)
- President’s Medal, Wichita State University (2004)
- Spirit of Justice Award, The Heritage Foundation (2003)
- Honorary Doctor of Science, George Mason University (2002)
- Uncommon Citizen Award, Wichita Chamber of Commerce (2002)
- National Distinguished Service Award, Tax Foundation (2000)
- Free Enterprise Award, The Council for National Policy (1999)
- Directors’ Award for Global Vision in Energy, New York Mercantile Exchange (1999)
- Governor’s Arts Patrons Award, Kansas Arts Commission (1999)
- Honorary Doctor of Commerce, Washburn University (1997)
- Induction into the Wichita and Kansas Business Halls of Fame (1997)
- Wichita District Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year (1997)
- Individual Recognition Award, Wichita/Sedgwick County Arts and Humanities Council (1997)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Babson College (1996)
- Induction into the Kansas Oil and Gas Hall of Fame (1996)
- Distinguished Citizen Award, Kansas State University (1996)
- Wichita City Medallion (1996)
- Wichita State University Entrepreneur in Residence (1996)
- Distinguished Service Citation, University of Kansas (1996)
- Distinguished Citizen Award, Quivira Council of Boy Scouts of America (1995)
- Honorary Life Member in the Washburn Law School Association (1995)
- Outstanding Humanitarian Award, Greater Wichita Chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives (1995)
- Adam Smith Award, American Legislative Exchange Council (1994)
- Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews (1994)
- Spirit of Excellence Award, The Urban League of Wichita (1993)
- Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (1992)
Mr. Koch received a bachelor’s degree in general engineering (1957) and two master’s degrees in nuclear and chemical engineering (1958 and 1959, respectively) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His employment has been as an engineer, Arthur D. Little, Inc. 1959-61; vice president, Koch Engineering Company, Inc. 1961-63, president, 1963-71; president, Koch Industries, Inc. 1966-74; chairman and chief executive officer, 1967- present.
He was born in Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Koch and his wife of 43 years, Liz, have two children.