Bitzer To Head Whirlpool N.A.; Electrolux Picks New HQ - Twice

Bitzer To Head Whirlpool N.A.; Electrolux Picks New HQ

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Benton Harbor, Mich. - Whirlpool's U.S. operations president Marc Bitzer will succeed Michael Todman as president of Whirlpool North America, effective Jan. 1.

Todman, in turn, will return to his previous post as president of Whirlpool International, succeeding Paulo F.M.O. Periquito, 63, who will continue to serve as chairman of Whirlpool Latin America until his planned retirement on April 30, 2010.

Both executives will report to Whirlpool chairman Jeff Fettig.

"During the past year, Marc Bitzer has led the U.S. operations to improved performance and strengthened our leading market position," Fettig said in a statement. "I am confident that he will continue to lead improvements in our North American operating performance with an emphasis on growing our brands with innovation and disciplined marketplace execution."

The move ends Todman's second go-around as head of North American operations, a role he first held in 2001.

"Mike Todman has led the North American business through one of the most challenging economic times in decades," Fettig said.  "He completed the integration of Maytag and positioned the business for growth. In his new role, Mike will focus on expanding our position in the rapidly growing international markets and will also broaden his leadership of key global initiatives."

In other major appliance news, Electrolux said it will consolidate its U.S. corporate office operations and support functions into a single North American headquarters location in Charlotte, N.C.

The move, which will be made gradually starting in summer 2010, is designed to "take advantage of synergies, improve coordination and increase efficiencies," the company said. More than 700 employees will eventually occupy the new Charlotte facility, to be located at 10200 David Taylor Drive in the city's University Area.

"The state, along with the county and city, were very helpful in working with us to find the incentives that made this the right choice for Electrolux," said Kevin Scott, president/CEO of Electrolux Major Appliances North America.

Electrolux and its Frigidaire brand presently maintain major operations in Augusta, Ga., and Cleveland.

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