By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Haier America president/CEO Michael Jemal has been named chairman, and executive VP Shariff Kan has been promoted to president of a newly formed white-goods group, as part of a company restructuring.
The reorganization will allow the CE and appliance supplier to “better focus on profitable growth and existing market opportunities,” the company said.
In his new role, Jemal will lead the strategic planning of Haier America's expansion and assist in the globalization of Haier Group, China's largest producer of appliances.
Kan, in turn, will assume responsibility for all day-to-day operations.
Jemal formed Haier America 10 years ago as the sales and marketing arm of Haier Group in North and South America. The company has significant share in the room air, compact refrigerator and wine cellar categories, and also sells laundry and full-size kitchen appliances and flat-panel TVs.
“As the breadth of Haier products continues to expand, I see tremendous growth opportunities for our company, and my new position will allow me to focus my energy on long-term growth and strategy,” Jemal said in a statement.
Since founding the business in 1999, Jemal has grown its CE and majap market share by fostering strategic channel partners in the United States, Canada and South America. Jemal also directed Haier's marketing and brand development efforts, as well as the construction and operation of the $40 million Industrial Park complex in Camden, S.C., reportedly the first Chinese production plant built in the U.S.
Kan is a 30-year industry veteran with a retail background that includes stints at Bloomingdales and The Wiz. He joined Jemal in 1999 as merchandising VP and was promoted to executive VP in 2005, overseeing all of the company's strategic business units. He was named one of the 50 Most Outstanding Asian American Businessmen in 2002.
In his new role, Kan will focus on the continued growth of the brand in North and South America, the company said.
“Shariff has been with me at Haier America from day one when we started out with only three products,” Jemal said. “He has a great understanding of the retail landscape and knows our capabilities as well as anyone. I am confident he will lead Haier America to new heights.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for me and I am proud to lead Haier America into the future,” Kan said in statement. “I wish Michael well with his new role and we will continue to foster the working relationship we began 20 years ago … we both expect nothing less than to continue the success we've had these past 10 years.”
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