LOUISVILLE, Ky.—GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, today announced that after providing nearly six years of strong and valued leadership to the company, CEO Chip Blankenship has elected to exit the business at the end of 2017.
Succeeding Blankenship as President & CEO is Kevin Nolan, currently VP and Chief Technology Officer for GEA and Qingdao Haier, who will be joined in the newly created GEA Executive Council by Melanie Cook, currently GEA’s VP of Sourcing, in the role of Chief Operating Officer; and Rick Hasselbeck, currently GEA’s Chief Marketing Officer, in the role of Chief Commercial Officer. Nolan, Cook and Hasselbeck will begin their new roles immediately and will work with Blankenship to facilitate a seamless transition for employees, customers and partners.
“During my tenure leading GE Appliances, we have achieved significant improvements in our products, plants and processes that have made us more competitive and yielded improved financial performance,” said Blankenship. “With that strong foundation in place, the support of our parent company—which is 100 percent focused on leadership in the appliances industry— and the amazing GE Appliances team, we are ready to launch the next phase of our strategy and growth. It is the right time for me to pass leadership of the business to three strong GE Appliances executives who will bring the expertise needed to accelerate further growth in the strategic areas of technological innovation, operational excellence and building closer connections with customers and consumers.”
Mr. Liang Haishan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qingdao Haier, said, “We are grateful to Chip for the passion, commitment and the expertise he has devoted to GE Appliances, particularly during the transition and integration with Haier. The business’s performance and leadership team under Chip’s direction has exceeded our expectations during our first year together. GEA’s performance following the acquisition in 2016 surpassed initial internal forecasts. The business is well positioned to build on these successes and move into its next phase of growth and development.”
Liang continued, “The fact that Kevin, Melanie and Rick are internal appointments reflects both the faith and confidence that Qingdao Haier has always had in GE Appliances’ management, as well as the excellent working relationship we have developed with the team. We are confident that under their leadership, GE Appliances will become the clear appliances industry leader in North America.”
About GE Appliances
GE Appliances, a Haier company, makes moments that matter for our owners through our passion for making great appliances and providing unparalleled services. Owners have more choices than ever before under the Hotpoint, GE®, Haier, GE Café™, GE Profile™ and Monogram® brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems. For more information visit www.geappliances.com/our-company.
About Qingdao Haier
Established in 1989, Qingdao Haier Co., Ltd. (Qingdao Haier) is a listed company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SHA: 600690). It was one of the first blue chip companies to be included on the Shanghai Stock Exchange 180 Index. Qingdao Haier is a leader in developing, manufacturing and distributing a comprehensive range of home appliances and other products including refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters, kitchen appliances small household appliances as well as other integrated SMART-related services.
Qingdao Haier has realized its cutting edge in R&D, production and marketing through the operation of a number of worldwide renowned brands and the management of overseas assets. It has subsequently become a global brand with operations all over the world.
Facing the challenges and opportunities presented by the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), Qingdao Haier is making a transition towards becoming an integrated IoT platform. It has since become a leader in SMART manufacturing and SMART home products, through the establishment of its SMART manufacturing and SMART LIFE platforms.
About Haier Group
Haier Group is the parent company of Qingdao Haier. Founded in 1984, Haier Group is the world’s leading home appliance provider, having grown from a traditional home appliance manufacturing business into a wide-ranging platform for startup companies. Its mission is to create innovative home appliances that anticipate the fast-changing needs of consumers all around the world.
Haier Group has been named the number one global home appliance brand every year for the last eight years by Euromonitor International, a world leader in strategic research in the consumer sector. It has also been named by Boston Consulting Group as both one of the ten most innovative companies in the world as well as the most innovative company in the consumer and retail industry. Its global headquarters are in Qingdao, China, and it has designing, marketing and R&D centers in the U.S. and Europe to serve local customers. Haier Group operates 10 R&D centers (including eight overseas centers), 24 industrial parks, 108 manufacturing centers and 66 trading companies worldwide. In 2016, its global revenues were CNY 201.6 billion.