By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
David Swift, formerly Whirlpool North America executive VP, was promoted to president, effective Jan. 1, and was named a member of Whirlpool's board as part of a senior-level restructuring in preparation for the company's planned acquisition of Maytag this quarter.
In his expanded role, Swift is accountable for Whirlpool's North American businesses, as well as the integration of Maytag operations after the planned acquisition is complete. At press time, a shareholder vote on the merger was planned for Dec. 22.
In addition, W. Timothy Yaggi, previously senior VP/general manager, brand portfolio group, North America, was promoted to executive VP/market operations, North America, reporting to Swift.
In a separate move, Michael Todman, executive VP/Whirlpool Corp. and president of Whirlpool Europe, was promoted to president, Whirlpool International, and was also named a member of Whirlpool's board. He is now responsible for Whirlpool's international businesses in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Todman was succeeded by Marc Bitzer, formerly marketing and sales senior VP, Whirlpool Europe.
Said Whirlpool's chairman/CEO Jeff Fettig, “This realignment of our leadership structure will accelerate execution of our global strategy and further extend the benefits we gain from our global operations, while also facilitating the business transition and integration of our planned acquisition of Maytag.”
A key part of that strategy was the $250 million build-out of Whirlpool's North American manufacturing base last year, which included the retrofit of its Clyde and Marion, Ohio facilities to produce new top-loading washers and companion dryers, and the completion of a new side-by-side refrigerator plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
The Ramos Arizpe facility, which employs 1,000 workers, is slated to produce some models that are currently manufactured in Fort Smith, Ark. The changeover in production, planned for this October, is expected to result in the layoff of about 730 Arkansas employees. Whirlpool says that the “vast majority” of the layoffs will be voluntary, and that many of the employees would be recalled within 18 months as part of the normal attrition rate at Fort Smith.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.