Not to take anything away from Chip Blankenship, but the GE Appliances CEO is one of those guys who’s at the right place at the right time.
A former GE jet engine scientist and aviation division VP, he assumed his current post in 2011, just as the unit began reaping the benefits of a $1 billion infrastructure investment begun under his predecessor Jim Campbell.
Now, five years later, he finds himself free of his division’s step-child status under GE, and begins a new chapter with a parent company that actually lives and breathes appliances. Besides Qingdao Haier’s financial support and understanding, he received a Christmas gift in the guise of Haier America’s appliance business — now in the process of joining the GE brand family — and will surely make good use of his new relation, sister company Fisher & Paykel.
Helping him craft GE’s white-goods renaissance is Rick Hasselbeck, a Procter & Gamble marketing whiz and breath of fresh air in a notoriously cloistered industry. Hasselbeck joined GE this fall as Blankenship’s chief marketing officer after running the Covergirl business … and happened to be ready for a change. Right place, right time.