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Whirlpool North America Announces New Organization Designed to Support Brand-Focused Business Strategy.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 23, 1999--

Whirlpool Corporation's North American Region (NAR) today announced a major organizational change that will enable it to more effectively execute the company's brand-focused business strategy.

The Brand Value Creation Strategy, a company-wide initiative developed during the last year, is designed to create outstanding value for shareholders by building strong demand for its brands and broadening Whirlpool's appeal to consumers.

The realigned organization will be able to more rapidly respond to changes in the marketplace, more effectively allocate resources and make brand management decisions based on deep consumer insight.

"By recognizing that building strong brands goes beyond product quality and features, Whirlpool can create new offerings that are more meaningful and different to consumers," said Michael D. Thieneman, executive vice president, North American Region.

With the roll-out of the new organization, Whirlpool North America will be making significant changes in reporting, authority and decision-making. The North American Region, under the leadership of Thieneman, will consist of new Brand Management and Product Delivery groups.

As a part of reorganization, Thieneman announced several promotions within the NAR senior management team. The new Brand Management group will report to Michael A. Todman, recently promoted to senior vice president, Sales, Marketing and Consumer Loyalty. The Product Delivery organization will be led by J.C. Anderson, who has been named senior vice president, Group Manufacturing and Product Delivery.

In leading the Brand Management effort, Todman will be responsible for building and delivering a strong portfolio of brands to consumers. Through portfolio management, the organization is expected to achieve growth by focusing on clear brand positioning, supported by strong consumer insight.

The new Brand Management organization replaces current marketing functions and comprises the following new groups: Whirlpool Brand organization, led by David J. Mehrbrodt, vice president; Sears/Kenmore Brand organization, reporting to Daniel G. Clifford, vice president; KitchenAid Brand organization, under the leadership of Kenneth W. Kaminski, vice president; Consumer Loyalty Group, reporting to John E. Alexander, vice president; Sales & Logistics Group, reporting to Gregory T. McManus, group vice president; and the Virtual Commerce Group, reporting to Greg Rodgers, leader.

All manufacturing and product development and delivery for the North American Region will report to J.C. Anderson. These activities will include delivery of product productivity, quality and availability, as well as supply chain management, and project management. In addition, the overall manufacturing/strategic product footprint will be developed in this organization.

The current Product Team organization has been realigned and is now reporting in to Anderson's organization. Robert M. Cunningham, currently general manager, Laundry Product Team, has been named vice president, Product Delivery Teams, reporting directly to Anderson.

"It's important to remember our focus is on the consumer," Thieneman said. "With this new structure we expect more sensitivity to our brands, better cycle times and more innovation, all of which benefit the customer."

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. Headquartered in Benton Harbor, the company manufactures in 13 countries and markets products under 11 major brand names in more than 170 countries. Additional information about the company can be found in the Internet at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 23, 1999
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