The body of 51-year-old Pauraic Sweeney, who was joint managing director of Forkers, was recovered from the Shropshire Union Canal at Gnosall on Tuesday morning.
Mr Sweeney, of Orslow, Newport, had been at work as normal on Monday at the engineering company's base at Hill Top Industrial Estate. His body was found in the water at 7.30am the next day. Staffordshire Police say his death was not being treated as suspicious.
Paying tribute to Mr Sweeney, Forkers chief executive Bob Thomas said: "He had been at the company for 29 years, joining as a senior buyer and working his way up to the position of joint managing director. He will be sorely missed." Mr Sweeney is believed to have had a partner but no children.