Former Molex CEO Krehbiel dies at 80

  • Fred Krehbiel

    Fred Krehbiel

  • The Molex office campus in Lisle.

    The Molex office campus in Lisle. Daily Herald file photo

Updated 6/10/2021 5:29 PM

Frederick August Krehbiel, former CEO and co-chairman of Lisle-based Molex Inc., died June 3 at Hinsdale Hospital after a brief illness.

He was 80.


Krehbiel joined Molex, the manufacturer of electronic interconnecting products that was founded by his grandfather, in 1965. He received a plum assignment two years later when his father, then leading the company, put him in charge of starting Molex's international division.

Molex International produced $54,000 in revenue the first year, which over the next 40 years grew to more than $2 billion. Molex was one of the first American companies in Japan. It also expanded to Mexico, South America, Europe, China and Southeast Asia.

Krehbiel served as president of Molex International into the 1980s, then became company CEO in 1988. He later became co-chairman with his brother, John, until Molex was sold to Koch Industries in 2013.

Molex was just part of Krehbiel's business portfolio.

Krehbiel also founded Ballyfin, an award-winning hotel in Ireland; co-owned MT Sobek, a leading adventure travel company; and owned the sailboat Insatiable, which won the 1989 Chicago to Mackinac Race and represented the United States at the 1987 Admiral's Cup Regatta.

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Krehbiel was born in June 1941 near Downers Grove. He graduated from Downers Grove North High School in 1959 and Lake Forest College in 1963 with a degree in political science.

His uncle was former White Sox owner Bill Veeck.

Krehbiel is survived by his wife, Kay; two sons, Liam (Karen) and Jay (Silvia); five grandchildren, Jack, Morgan, Anthea, August and Adele; and his brother.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to support the Lung Cancer Research Fund at Rush University Medical Center. Contributions can be directed to Rush Office of Philanthropy, 28057 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1280 or

Funeral services have been held.

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