Haier names new heads of divisions
New York City-based Haier America has announced the realignment of the company by creating a structure to be "fully integrated and aligned" under three main Product Business Divisions, the company announced. The Product Business Divisions will include Air Conditioning Group (ACG), White Goods Group (WGG), and Digital Products Group (DPG).
“This new direction for Haier enables integration from end to end at all levels and presents common objectives supported by a shared road map, while clearly defining measurements and performance throughout the organization,” said Shariff Kan, president of Haier America.
The White Goods Group will be led by Executive VP Bob Cunningham who has been with the company since 2008 and previously served as senior VP of major appliances-product innovations and engineering. Mr. Cunningham has over 30 years of experience in the white goods appliance industry.
The Air Conditioning Group will be led by Executive VP, Lintao Lu who has been with the company since 2003 and previously served as senior VP of compact appliances and home comfort-product innovations and engineering. Mr. Lu has over 25 years of experience in the air conditioning industry.
The Digital Products Group will continue to be led by President Douglas Lane who joined the company in July of 2010 with over 20 years of experience in the consumer electronics industry.
Shoplifters sought for pulling a switch at the checkout
Suspects are being sought by federal authorities for allegedly stealing $130,000 worth of merchandise from Lowe’s by smuggling it out in toilet and sink boxes, according to an article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
A complaint unsealed in Seattle court last week said that Altor, Larsell and Leonard Hollingsworth, along with one of their sons, have been going into Lowe’s stores since 2007 and emptying out toilet and sink boxes so they could fill them with high-end faucets and other items. The brothers, who frequently had female accomplices, would then check out the merchandise for the cost of the toilet or sink, investigators allege. As pat of the scheme, the Hollingsworth brothers are accused of returning the items to different Lowe’s stores in Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona for gift cards totaling about $130,000.
Two of the brothers — Altor and Larsell Hollingsworth — have been arrested. Altor’s son, Alton, and the other brother, Leonard, remain at large.
A lawyer for Larsell Hollingsworth declined to comment except to note his client is presumed innocent. A lawyer for Altor could not immediately be reached.
S&P/Case-Shiller sees a double dip in home prices
The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, a leading indicator of U.S. housing prices, recorded declines in 19 of the 20 MSAs compared to March 2010. Twelve of the 20 MSAs and the 20-City Composite also posted new index lows in March.
The U.S. National Home Price Index declined by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2011, after having fallen 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010. The National Index hit a new recession low with the first quarter’s data and posted an annual decline of 5.1% versus the first quarter of 2010. Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels.
“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the S&P Index Committee. “The National Index, the 20-City Composite and 12 MSAs all hit new lows with data reported through March 2011. The National Index fell 4.2% over the first quarter alone, and is down 5.1% compared to its year-ago level. Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”
“Since December 2010, we have found an increasing number of markets posting new lows,” Blitzer continued. “In March 2011, 12 cities – Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, and Tampa – fell to their lowest levels as measured by the current housing cycle. Washington D.C. was the only MSA displaying positive trends with an annual growth rate of [positive] 4.3% and a 1.1% increase from its February level.
“Looking deeper into the monthly data, 18 MSAs and both composites were down in March over February. The only two which weren’t, are Washington DC, up 1.1%, and Seattle, up 0.1%. Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas are the markets where average home prices are now below their January 2000 levels. With a March index level of 100.27, Phoenix is not far off.”