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issue: October 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

People
Keith McLoughlin of Electrolux Home Products


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If you ask Keith McLoughlin about the key to a successful consumer-oriented business, he'll tell you it takes a management style that revolves around innovation and people.

"Team building brings out the best of the talents of our people. I believe that we can do a much better job when we tap into the skills of our people and also gain the involvement of our trade partners," Mr. McLoughlin tells APPLIANCE.

The president of Electrolux Home Products (EHP) North America (Augusta, GA, U.S.) and 22-year veteran of DuPont knows what he's talking about; he has been at the head of management teams for a number of consumer-oriented businesses throughout his career. After earning a B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, U.S., Mr. McLoughlin joined DuPont in 1981 as an engineer at its nylon plant in Seaford, DE, U.S. and started on a journey that would carry him through several management positions and allow him to implement his own management style.

"Visionary, relentless, open, and honest" are the words that people use to describe his management style. He has made this style successful by employing powerful, winning teams, enforcing accountability, implementing marketing strategies, and maintaining a focus on the consumer.

Mr. McLoughlin's management style was tested during his tenure at DuPont, where he worked on projects for the consumer market. Evidently, it proved effective. "I was named vice president and general manager of DuPont's Corian Business in 1998 for Corian Countertops® and vice president and general manager of the Nonwovens Business in 2000 for Tyvek Home Wrap®."

However, Mr. McLoughlin remembers one particular product as rewarding. "I was part of the core team that launched the first meaningful consumer brand in the carpet industry - Stainmaster™," he says.

Mr. McLoughlin joined Electrolux in March of this year and takes his responsibilities, especially the introduction of the Electrolux brand into North America, seriously. In his present position, Mr. McLoughlin again utilizes the management style he developed throughout his career to manage the company's North American appliance business, which includes 8 factories and 12,000 employees.

"Teamwork is vital to creating a successful result," Mr. McLoughlin says. "I learned from the beginning that you cannot do everything yourself." He says that dedicated people who understand and believe in achieving a business's objective are essential.

Mr. McLoughlin says that while he worked at creating differentiation and growth through meaningful brand development at DuPont, the challenge at EHP is energizing the good brands that exist in the appliance business while resisting the pressure of commoditization in the market. He plans to overcome that challenge through innovation, marketing, and customer-focused organizational capabilities.

Mr. McLoughlin enjoys spending his leisure time with his wife and two small children. He is also an avid snow skier and music enthusiast.

 

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