James J. Bakke is president and chief executive officer of Sub-Zero Freezer Company. He is the third generation of the Bakke family to lead the company, which was founded in 1945 by Westye F. Bakke. James Bakke was named president of his family's business in 1990 and CEO in 1992.
Among Mr. Bakke's accomplishments is the introduction of three highly innovative product lines, including the new 400 Series of consumer wine storage equipment, the built-in 600 Series, and the integrated 700 Series. All three product lines were developed in direct response to customers' needs, providing greater design flexibility and home integration. With the 400 Series, Sub-Zero has made wine storage beautiful and functional. With the 600 Series, Sub-Zero has ensured it can meet virtually any kitchen design need. And with the 700 Series, Sub-Zero has taken refrigeration out of the kitchen, integrating it throughout the home.
In preparation for assuming the presidency of Sub-Zero, Mr. Bakke spent 10 years working in various positions within the company, including assembler, customer service representative, regional sales manager, plant manager, national sales manager and executive vice president. Mr. Bakke began his career in 1977 as a sales representative with Oscar Mayer, Inc. Earlier that year, he earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.
In addition to his commitment to Sub-Zero, Mr. Bakke serves on the board of directors of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), PDQ Corporation and the Madison Ronald McDonald House. He also donates his time to the Greater Madison United Way.