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Jens To Replace Blanford As Pres. Of Philips CE Unit

Philips Consumer Electronics, North America will be headed by a new president, effective Jan. 1.

Royal Philips Electronics announced from Amsterdam that Reinier Jens, 46, will become president of Philips Consumer Electronics, North America at the start of the year.

Jens will replace Larry Blanford, a former Maytag executive, who joined the company in 2001 as a turnaround specialist, said Katrina Blauvelt, a spokesperson for the company.

“When [Blanford] was hired in 2001 it was in order to develop and implement the turnaround plan for the U.S. CE business,” she said. “We expected that Larry would be with us for two-and-a-half to three years — it’s been two years and nine months.”

Gerard Kleisterlee, Royal Philips Electronics CEO, said “Under Larry’s leadership, Philips has made good progress toward a profitable, sustainable consumer electronics business in North America, in particular through repositioning the brand and improving relationships with retail. This provides a good basis for Reinier Jens, who has earned his credentials in the consumer electronics industry, to lead our North America organization successfully into its next phase.”

Jens has been with Philips since 1986, and is currently Philips Consumer Electronics, Northern Europe managing director. Before that, he occupied a number of senior management positions at the Philips Group.

“Reinier Jens’ 18-year background in Philips should bring a fresh perspective to the North American organization, and will give him the ability to get things done quickly within the Philips organization to move us forward,” Blauvelt said.

He was said to be “a dynamic leader that people can rally around,” and has a talent for “seamlessly blending processes with creativity.”

In the new position, he will report to Rudy Provoost, CEO global sales and services, Philips Consumer Electronics.

Blanford “plans to maintain the board positions he holds outside of Philips, and is taking on some consulting assignments. He is going to take some time to consider several career choices he has right now,” Blauvelt said. The change comes a month after Philips announced a voluntary buyout program to reduce head count in the Atlanta headquarters by 30 percent.