Haier America Reorganizes


New York - Haier America, the North American division of China's Haier Group, has restructured its operations along its three core product lines.

Going forward, the company will be comprised of separate air conditioning, white goods, and digital products groups, led respectively by Lintao Lu, Bob Cunningham and Douglas Lane. Each reports to Haier America president Shariff Kan.

It is unclear whether the reorganization also included a significant staff reduction, although Haier has confirmed that major appliances senior VP Warren Mann has left the company. Mann joined Haier in 2007 after serving in senior management roles at Sansui Electronics and the NATM and MARTA buying organizations.

Under the new structure, each product group will be fully responsible for profit and loss, product development, sales and marketing, quality control, service, compliance, planning and purchasing.

Shared support services include finance, administration, logistics, IT, legal, and branding and creative.

Haier said the realignment was intended to increase sales and create a higher brand profile more efficiently.

"This new direction enables integration from end to end at all levels and presents common objectives supported by a shared road map, while clearly defining measurements and performance throughout the organization," Kan said in a statement.

Lu, executive VP of the air conditioning group and a 25-year veteran of the room air business, has been with Haier since 2003. He previously served as compact appliances and home comfort senior VP for product innovations.

Cunningham, executive VP of the white goods group and a 30-year veteran of the majap industry, has been with Haier since 2008. He previously served as major appliances senior VP for product innovations and engineering.

Lane, a 20-year CE industry veteran, joined the company last July and will continue to serve as president of the digital products group.

Haier America was formed by Michael Jemal in 1999 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; sells TVs, laundry and full-size kitchen appliances; and has made forays into the mobile and portable A/V categories.

Jemal was elevated to chairman in a 2009 reorganization that allowed him to focus on strategic planning and to work more directly with corporate parent Haier Group. He was succeeded as president by Kan, who assumed responsibility for all day-to-day operations.


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