Michael Polk takes helm at Newell Rubbermaid
Former Unilever executive Michael Polk has been appointed president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid, effective July 18. He succeeds Mark Ketchum, who is retiring but will remain a director until May 2012.
Ketchum announced in January his intention to retire after being recruited from the board five years ago to lead Newell Rubbermaid through its transformation into a marketing-driven company.
Polk most recently served as president of global foods, home and personal care at Unilever, where he was responsible for the development, innovation and marketing of Unilever’s entire $64 billion portfolio of categories and brands. During his eight years at Unilever, he is credited with transforming the company’s business in the Americas and, in his latest role, sharpening Unilever¹s portfolio strategy and creating a more competitive, faster growing, innovation-driven organization. Polk has been a member of the Unilever executive board since 2007.
"Mike is an outstanding marketer, innovator and leader with a proven record of growing global brands, driving changeand delivering superior financial performance," said Michael Cowhig, chairman of Newell Rubbermaid’s board of directors. "He is the right leader at the right time to build on Newell Rubbermaid’s successful transformation and accelerate our global growth."
"I am honored to be joining Newell Rubbermaid as president and CEO," Polk said. "The company has a strong portfolio of brands and an excellent leadership team with a great opportunity to win in both the developed and emerging markets. In a very challenging environment, Mark and his team have strengthened the company and positioned us for growth. I am very excited about writing the next chapter of the Newell Rubbermaid story and look forward to the challenge of unlocking the full potential of the company."
Before joining Unilever, Polk spent 16 years at Kraft Foods. His last two positions at Kraft were president, Asia Pacific region, Kraft Foods International and president, Nabisco biscuit and snacks, Kraft Foods North America. In both positions, Polk served on Kraft’s Management Committee. Prior to Kraft, Polk spent three years at Procter & Gamble, working in manufacturing and research and development in the paper products division.
Porter-Cable launches compact trim compressor
Towson, Md.-based Porter-Cable has introduced a heavy-duty, 1-gal., 135 Max PSI quiet trim compressor (C1010). The new one-man compressor offers contractors a lightweight, compact design and quiet operation for custom trim and/or punch-out work.
The C1010 can be used for case, base, crown and chair rail trim molding, custom installation of furniture, shelves or built-ins; as well as for cabinet trim installation and new plumbing line pressure testing.
“The C1010 continues the Porter-Cable tradition of delivering innovative and efficient air compressors to the professional,” said James Vintzel, Porter-Cable group product manager. “After visiting job sites across the country, it became obvious contractors wanted a durable, compact, lightweight compressor for a one-man operation or for simple touch-up trim jobs."
125-year-old GAF teams with Habitat for Humanity
Wayne, N.J.-based GAF has helped build houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and families in need in New Jersey, Texas and California.
The effort was part of a celebration of the roofing material company’s 125th anniversary.
“GAF as a company has been very fortunate. Through the hard work and devotion of our employees, we have managed to stay at the forefront of our industry for 125 years — no small feat for a company, especially given the recent economic climate,” said Paul Bromfield, senior VP marketing at GAF. “This is a great opportunity to help families in need of housing, and it also is a chance to give our employees an opportunity to make a positive difference in communities.”
The company said it is committed to both sustainability and community outreach. GAF recently engaged in a national alliance with Habitat for Humanity, where GAF provides roofing materials for GAF Master Elite and Certified Contractors, donating roofing installation services for Habitat homes in their communities.