BENTON HARBOR — Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) board chair Jeff M. Fettig today announced that he will retire from the company on Dec. 13.
Whirlpool’s board of directors has elected CEO Marc Bitzer to succeed Fettig as chairman of the board, effective Jan. 1.
“My planned retirement is the final step in our board-driven succession plan with Marc now adding the Chairman role to his responsibilities,” Fettig said. “It has been a great honor for me to be part of Whirlpool Corporation over the last 38 years. During this time, the company has changed significantly in a positive way. I am very proud of what the people of Whirlpool have achieved to make us the great company we are today. I’ve also had the privilege to lead our company and serve as chairman of the board of directors for the last 14 years. I greatly appreciate the dedicated support that our board of directors provides to our company.”
Added Samuel R. Allen, Whirlpool’s presiding director: “Speaking on behalf of all board members, it has been a pleasure and an honor serving with Jeff on the Whirlpool board. We are extremely proud of Jeff’s accomplishments, both in terms of the company’s strong performance and in his demonstrated commitment to leading with integrity. In selecting Marc Bitzer, the board is confident we have chosen a leader that will continue this commitment.”
Fettig joined Whirlpool in 1981 as an operations associate, holding a number of positions before being promoted to vice president of marketing fo rthe KitchenAid Appliance Group in 1989 and vice president of marketing of the Philips Whirlpool Appliance Group in 1990. In 1994, he was named executive vice presidenet of Whirlpool and president of Whirlpool Europe and Asia. He was named president and COO and named to the board in 1999. A native of Tipton, Ind., Fettig holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA from Indiana University.
Bitzer joined Whirlpool Europe in 1999 as vice president of the Bauknecht brand group, and became senior vice president of marketing sales and services of Whirlpool Europe in 2000. He was named president of Whirlpoool Europe in 2006, and served as president of Whirlpool North America in 2009. Bitzer earned both his MBA and doctorate from the St. Gallen Graduate School of Business, Economics and Law in Switzerland.
More at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.