Electrolux appoints chief design officer
Appliance maker Electrolux has hired Stefano Marzano as its chief design officer, a new role at the company. Marzano will lead all design-related competencies in the various business groups.
Marzano, age 62, had a long career at Royal Philips Electronics, working for 20 years as its chief design officer. Until 1998 he was a professor at the Domus Academy in Milan, and also served as a visiting professor at Politecnico did Milano, the polytechnic institute in Milan. Marzano is also the author and editor of several books on design.
"Stefano Marzano is one of the most regarded and prominent design leaders in business today, and I am both pleased and proud to have him on my team,” said Keith McLoughlin, president and CEO of Electrolux. “Appointing the first chief design officer in the group’s history proves the priority Electrolux gives to design as a core function in innovation together with R&D and marketing. Electrolux has come very far in the transition from a manufacturing-driven company to a modern consumer insight-driven company. Mr. Marzano’s experience and well-documented creativity will further enhance this development."
Electrolux has seven design centers around the world. The design center hub is in Stockholm, Sweden, co-located with other group functions. Other industrial design centers are in North America, Brazil, Italy, Singapore and Australia.
Henrik Otto, senior VP of global design, will remain in his current role and report to Marzano.
Electrolux manufactures household appliances and appliances for professional use, selling more than 40 million products to customers in more than 150 markets every year.. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, cookers, air-conditioners and small appliances such as vacuum cleaners sold under brands like Electrolux, AEG, Eureka and Frigidaire.
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For WD-40, sales up and earnings down in Q1
Financial uncertainty cast a shadow over the results of San Diego-based WD-40 Co., which posted mixed results in the first quarter of 2012.
The lubricant and all-purpose maintenance product manufacturer posted net sales for the quarter ended Nov. 30 of $84.9 million, up 5% from the same period last year. Earnings, however, declined 25% to $6.8 million.
"The Americas and Asia Pacific regions experienced growth in the first quarter driven by sales of the multi-purpose maintenance products," said Garry Ridge , WD-40 president and CEO. "We continue to see economic uncertainty in Europe, and the results in the first quarter reflect some of this uncertainty."
First-quarter multi-purpose maintenance products sales, which include WD-40, 3-IN-ONE, Blue Works and the WD-40 Specialist product line, were $70.8 million, up 6% from the prior-year fiscal quarter. Homecare and cleaning products sales, which include all other brands, were $14.1 million for the first quarter, down 2% from the prior-year fiscal quarter.
"During the quarter we had higher-than-normal investments in advertising and promotions due to some promotional timing and activities in support of several key marketing initiatives," Ridge said. "We expect these investments to return to our normal levels during the remainder of the year."
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Noritz expands eco-friendly (and tough) water heaters
Fountain Valley, Calif.-based Noritz expanded its ecoTough Series of gas-fired residential condensing tankless water heaters with the new NRC83.
The Energy Star-rated unit is designed for smaller homes and multi-family dwellings. Available in both indoor (the two-pipe, direct vent NRC83-DV) and outdoor (NRC83-OD) models, the new wall-mounted units have an energy factor (EF) of 0.92 for natural gas and 0.94 with liquid propane — approximately 30 points higher than a standard, storage tank-type, gas-fired water heater.
“We believe the NRC83 will also be an attractive option for apartment developers, owners and managers, as well as for owners of vacation homes with smaller hot-water needs,” said Jay Hassel, VP sales and marketing for the Noritz America Corp.
Featuring a gas-consumption range of 16,000 BTU per hour to 157,000 BTUh, the NRC83 Residential Condensing Tankless Water Heater is engineered to meet the domestic hot water needs of smaller northern residences with one bathroom, as well as southern homes with two baths. With flow rates from 0.5 gallons per minute to 8.3 gpm and temperature settings from 100°F to 140°F, the new NRC83 protects the environment by heating water strictly on demand, while offering a longer product life cycle than storage tank-type models.
The high-efficiency, low-NOx Eco-Burner has a nitrogen-oxide emissions level that is within 20 parts per million, which will comply with the new South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regulations that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.
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