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Ketchum to retire as Rubbermaid top exec

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid announced that president and CEO, Mark Ketchum, will retire later this year.

An executive recruiting firm has been retained to search for Ketchum’s replacement.

Ketchum plans to remain on the company’s board of directors through the spring of 2012 to help ensure a smooth and orderly transition to a new leader, the company said.

Ketchum, 61, joined Newell Rubbermaid as a director in 2005 and became president and CEO later that year.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the past five years at Newell Rubbermaid. I love this company and the people I work with, making my decision to retire extremely difficult, but consistent with the commitments I made to my family when I joined the company,” Ketchum said. “As the result of a lot of hard work and effort by everyone in the organization, our portfolio, our gross margin structure and our business model have been significantly transformed. We managed through the most difficult economic times in decades and have emerged a leaner, stronger organization focused on the key elements which will drive our continuing improvement.”

“Mark Ketchum’s leadership, especially during the difficult economic times and through the many elements of our transformation initiatives, has positioned the company to compete effectively in the extremely dynamic markets in which we participate,” said Michael T. Cowhig, the company’s chairman of the board. “Although our board of directors and associates would have loved Mark to remain our CEO for several more years, we fully respect the commitment he made to his family, and appreciate the fact that he has chosen to retire at a time when the company has completed most of its transformation efforts and is positioned for continued success.”

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Zep names Manganello to board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Zep Inc. announced the election of Timothy Manganello to the company’s board of directors at its Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on Jan. 6, 2011.

Manganello is the chairman and CEO of BorgWarner Inc. His term as director expires in 2013.

“We are pleased to have such an experienced executive from the automotive industry join our board of directors, as this market is of growing importance to our business. His background in the automotive space, as well as his extensive management experience, will bring valuable contributions to our board,” commented John K. Morgan, chairman, president and CEO of Zep.

The company also reelected stockholders John Morgan, Joseph Squicciarino and Timothy Tevens to the class of directors whose terms expire at the 2014 annual meeting.

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FBI investigates terrorist threats against HD, Andersen Windows

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The FBI has opened an investigation in a series of threatening letters received by Home Depot stores and Renewal by Andersen businesses in the Twin Cities area, according to an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

A total of 13 letters containing a white powder substance — which later turned out to be sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda — were mailed to eight Home Depot stores in Apple Valley, Eagan, Forest Lake, Hastings, Hudson,  Inver Grove Heights, Maplewood and Woodbury. Similar letter were mailed to five Renewal by Andersen, a window replacement business, in Bayport, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Edina and Roseville, the FBI said.

Federal agents gave no information about the content of the letters, which were received between Dec. 31, 2010 and Jan. 6, 2011. The return address on each envelope was identical, and the letters seem to have been photocopied, authorities said.

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