The white-goods unit at Haier America’s Wayne, N.J., headquarters will cease operations next month and the first of several waves of layoffs will begin as GE Appliances proceeds with its planned integration of the two businesses.
Haier’s TV business will remain at the New Jersey offices however and will be reformed into a separate company on the first of the year.
About 80 appliance employees will be affected by the shutdown, as functions including sales, marketing, accounting, customer service, IT, legal, logistics and human resources are folded into GE’s Louisville, Ky., campus.
The moves follow Qingdao Haier’s $5.6 billion acquisition of GE Appliances last June.
Another 20 employees at Haier’s R&D center in Evansville, Ind., and its U.S. manufacturing complex in Camden, S.C., will also get pink slips, although GE will continue to operate those facilities.
It is unclear how many, if any, Haier America staffers will be reassigned to Louisville.
GE previously said that combining both businesses into a single operation would allow it to focus resources and provide “a unified go-to-market strategy to better serve our product owners, retailers and homebuilders and reduce costs that will enable reinvestment in operations and brands.”
The consolidation is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, Haier’s Digital Products Group, led by senior VP John Homlish, continues to market TV products in the U.S. and Canada out of the New Jersey offices, and will begin operating as a separate Haier company on Jan. 1.
Haier America was reformed two years ago from a North American trading company into a full-fledged Haier Group subsidiary under Whirlpool engineering veteran Adrian Micu.
Micu retired shortly after the GE acquisition.
Going forward, the Haier badge will join the GE Appliance family in a “house of brands” market strategy, a GE spokesperson told TWICE.
GE Appliances will have a presence in Haier Group’s booth at next month’s CES, and Haier, in turn, will make its International Builders’ Show (IBS) debut within GE’s booth, where new products will be launched under both brands, the spokesperson said.
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