"After 17 years as CEO of Whirlpool, I
couldn't be more confident and comfortable about my decision"
CEO David R. Whitwam
Whirlpool (WHR) today
announced that David R. Whitwam, the company's chairman and
chief executive officer since 1987, intends to retire effective
June 30, 2004. In addition, Whirlpool's Board of Directors has
carried out its plan of succession by electing Jeff M. Fettig,
the company's current president and chief operating officer, to
the post of chairman, president and chief executive officer,
effective July 1, 2004.
"After 17 years as CEO of Whirlpool, I couldn't
be more confident and comfortable about my decision," said
Whitwam. "I have always intended to retire early, and this is
the right time. The company is performing well, our strategic
direction is sound, and our operating foundation is firm. We
have an outstanding global leadership team in place, and Jeff is
ready for this new role. He will be an exceptional chief
executive officer and leader as Whirlpool continues to grow and
create value for its stakeholders."
|Jeff M. Fettig
Fettig, 47, was named president and chief
operating officer, and elected to the Board in 1999. Fettig was
instrumental in the development and execution of the company's
strategy that emphasizes brands, innovation, global quality and
productivity, and building customer loyalty. He also has played
a key role in the integration of Whirlpool's global operations
Fettig joined Whirlpool in 1981 and held a
number of managerial positions in operations, sales, planning
and product development before being promoted to vice president
of marketing for the KitchenAid Appliance Group in 1989. In
1990, he was named vice president of marketing for the Philips
Whirlpool Appliance Group of Whirlpool Europe B.V., the
company's European subsidiary. In 1992, Fettig was named vice
president, group marketing and sales, North American Appliance
Group. In 1994 Fettig was named an executive vice president of
Whirlpool and president, Whirlpool Europe and Asia.
A native of Tipton, Ind., Fettig holds a
bachelor's degree in finance and a master of business
administration degree from Indiana University. Fettig is a
director on the board of Dow Chemical Company. He also is a
trustee for the Midwest Region of Boys and Girls Club of
America, and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council at the
Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Whitwam, 62, was named Whirlpool Corporation
chairman and chief executive officer in 1987. He also served as
company president from 1987-1992. He has served on the company's
board of directors since 1985.
From the late 80s throughout the 90s, Whitwam
led the global expansion of Whirlpool's U.S. appliance business.
At the beginning of the expansion, Whirlpool was the second
largest U.S. appliance manufacturer with sales of approximately
$4 billion. Today, with annual sales of more than $12 billion,
Whirlpool is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of
major home appliances, with major brands and operations in North
America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Whitwam transformed Whirlpool from a regional
manufacturing company to a global enterprise focused on creating
value through the building of brands. During his tenure, the
Whirlpool brand has become the largest selling appliance brand
in the world, and the company's premium KitchenAid brand in the
U.S. has grown dramatically. Since the late 90s, Whitwam has
successfully led the company's unique strategic focus on
innovation as a competitive advantage and a vital source of
growth and improved financial performance for the company.
Whitwam joined Whirlpool's marketing management
team in 1968, rising to vice president of the Whirlpool brand
business in 1983. In 1985, he was promoted to vice chairman and
became the company's chief marketing officer.
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Whitwam holds a
B.S. degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.
Whitwam is a director on the boards of PPG
Industries, Inc. and Convergys Corporation. He is a member of
the Business Roundtable Policy Committee and Education Task
Force, and is actively involved with BRT's educational reform
initiatives on the national and local level. He also serves as
the chairman of the Michigan Business Leaders for Educational
Excellence organization. He is a trustee of the University of
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
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