Whirlpool commences search for new GM marketing

By Martin Vedris

MELBOURNE: Whirlpool Australia today confirmed the resignation of its general manager of marketing, Grant Logie, and has announced an industry-wide search for an experienced executive to work on building the Whirlpool, Maytag and Jenn-Air brands.

Logie’s resignation comes just one day shy of the 12 month anniversary of the company’s restructure announcement following their Maytag acquisition.

On 27 June last year, Whirlpool announced details of significant changes in their allocation of company and staff resources to achieve their stated aim of marketing a differentiated product range under both the Whirlpool and Maytag brands.

In that announcement, it was confirmed that Whirlpool managing director, Mark Poole, would continue to oversee the Whirlpool and Maytag business in Australia. Meanwhile, Logie remained as general manager of marketing but took on the additional responsibility of the Maytag business.

After over three years at Whirlpool however, Logie has decided to return to the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) environment in a senior marketing role.

Poole told Current.com.au today that with Logie’s departure there is an opportunity for a reorganisation, but nothing is likely to change in the short term.

“We are looking at all options including a straight replacement, but as far as our marketing team is concerned, there will be no changes in terms of structure. The opening does open the door for other changes, but I do not want to speculate on what might happen at this stage,” he said.

“I think as we go forward, we are looking for someone that can enhance the brand equity position across our strong portfolio of Whirlpool, Maytag and Jenn-Air which appeals to a broad spectrum of consumers.

“The ideal person would be someone who has had experience managing a portfolio rather than a single brand and has the ability to drive brand equity without a lot of television network spending above the line.

“Below the line spending will have to be an equity driver as well and not just a call to action – it will have to have a brand building element to it.”

Logie’s final day at Whirlpool will be Friday 29 June 2007.

According to a statement released this morning, Poole said, “It is with much regret we announce Grant’s resignation. During his tenure at Whirlpool, Grant built a fabulous Marketing team both by developing the skills of the existing members and recruiting new talent. We will miss his warm and engaging personality and his genuine team approach to business matters.

“Grant has made significant contributions to the company during his 3½ year tenure. He has driven substantial improvements in product range, added formal public relations to the brand-building arsenal, significantly contributed to the Maytag integration, overseen system and process improvements in the Service department and driven improvements in our Call Centre performance. We wish him all the best in his new endeavour.”

Logie’s work at Whirlpool will continue as his marketing and communications program for both the Whirlpool and Maytag brands, will unfold in the upcoming second half of this year’s sales period.

“We have a great team working on the execution elements now and we are confident that the second half activities will ring the bell with consumers and the trade,” Poole confirmed.

Whirlpool Corporation is currently the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion, more than 80,000 employees, and more than 60 manufacturing and technology research centres around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, Kitchen Aid, Amana, and other major brand names.

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