Whirlpool Corporation announced that David R. Whitwam (pictured), the company's chairman and CEO 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 COO, to the post of chairman, president, and CEO, effective July 1, 2004.
"After 17 years as CEO of Whirlpool, I couldn't be more confident and comfortable about my decision," said Mr. 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."
Mr. Fettig was named president and COO and elected to the Board in 1999. He 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, Mr. Fettig was named vice president, Group Marketing and Sales, North American Appliance Group. In 1994, he was named an executive vice president of Whirlpool and president, Whirlpool Europe and Asia.
A native of Tipton, IN, U.S., Mr. Fettig holds a bachelor's degree in Finance and an MBA from Indiana University.
Mr. Whitwam was named Whirlpool Corporation chairman and CEO in 1987. He also served as company president from 1987-1992. He has served on the company's board of directors since 1985.
Mr. 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, WI, U.S., Mr. Whitwam holds a B.S. degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.
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