Whirlpool Australia MD to move to Whirlpool Canada

By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Whirlpool Australia MD Mark Poole announced today that he will be returning to Whirlpool Canada to take up the position of director of appliance, care, corporate strategy and core competencies after taking the local subsidiary to record sales levels.

Poole will be leaving Australia at the end of September and starting his new role at that time. Whirlpool Australia will conduct a worldwide internal search and external Australian search for Poole’s replacement.

Whirlpool Canada is one of the most profitable business units within the Whirlpool Corporation, with an annual turnover of $US1.3 billion.

In his new role Poole will oversee a highly profitable P&L unit that has an annual turnover of more than $70 million. He will also play a major role in developing the overall company strategy initially focussing on driving more value from the recent acquisition of Maytag Canada.

“Although I have mixed feelings about leaving Australia, I am looking forward to returning to my home country,” Poole said.

“The past two years have been immensely rewarding for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as managing director and have developed considerably from the opportunities and challenges that have arisen during my two year tenure,” he said.

Poole was appointed managing director of Whirlpool Australia in August 2005.

A statement released today said: "During his time in Australia, [Poole] has executed a massive turnaround for Whirlpool Australia which was struggling in the market. Sales for Whirlpool are currently at record levels.

“Whirlpool Australia is stronger than ever," Poole said.

"The company has a highly capable leadership team supported by a talented and engaged workforce. I am very confident in Whirlpool Australia’s ability to continue to execute in the market place both in the short and medium terms. I also want to thank our trade partners for offering both their wisdom and their friendship. I have met and bonded with many retailers in this industry and will very much miss our interaction.”

According to the statement Poole has recetly spearheaded a strong communications program to build the Whirlpool brand equity. The comprehensive program included national radio with a high frequency and reach, co-op television, outdoor and retailer catalogues as well as online support through the Whirlpool website. There is a myriad of anecdotal evidence that the program is working. There will be a detailed post campaign audit in 2008.

Poole also been responsible for facilitating the integration of Maytag in Australia as well as launching a new premium integration kitchen range for Maytag. This week Maytag celebrated their 100th birthday with a gala event in Melbourne that was attended by over 150 retailers from around Australia.

Poole launched the Maytag Certified Retailer Program at the event. The program, offers retailers a choice of Platinum, Gold and Silver levels to embrace Maytag’s new premium kitchen integration range.

Prior to his appointment in Australia, Poole was director of marketing for Whirlpool Mexico from 2002 to 2005. Poole joined Whirlpool as manager of business planning in 1993 and has been with the company for 14 years.

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