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SieMatic appoints new leader for U.S., Canada

BY Brae Canlen

SieMatic USA, a maker of high-end kitchen cabinetry, has appointed Hans Henkes as its new general manager. Henkes will oversee operations in North America, serving as liaison to SieMatic’s corporate and independent partner showrooms, as well as leading the company’s commercial division.

Henkes, who has been with the company for four years, has a background in international management. He will be responsible for managing SieMatic USA operations and market development throughout the United States and Canada.

Henkes will replace CEO Rolf Willers, who retired this past spring.

Based in Feasterville, Pa., SieMatic manufactures custom cabinets, shelving systems, drawer organizers, decorative hardware and other kitchen-related products. Its parent company is located in Löhne, Germany.

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Electrolux appoints chief design officer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

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

BY HBSDEALER Staff

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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