Electrolux announces a change at the top

Sweden's Electrolux, the world's second-largest home appliance manufacturer, has announced that Keith McLoughlin will succeed outgoing Hans Stråberg as the company's new president and CEO.

Electrolux announces a change at the top
Incoming Electrolux President and CEO Keith McLoughlin and CEO Hans Stråberg

“After nine fantastic years as president and CEO, 13 years in group management and 27 years in the company, I want to do something new,” said Stråberg in a statement. “Over the last four quarters we have achieved our target operating margin of 6 percent.”

McLoughlin is the company’s current executive vice president, COO and head of research and development, purchasing and manufacturing within major appliances. He will assume his new role on January 1st.

Previously, he was head of Electrolux Major Appliances North America and joined Electrolux in 2003.

“His focus will be to continue executing the Electrolux strategy,” Electrolux Chairman Marcus Wallenberg said in a statement of McLoughlin. “Keith has been deeply involved in developing and implementing the strategy, turned around the Electrolux North American major appliances operations and has already today a major global responsibility.”

Electrolux sells more than 40 million products in more than 150 markets annually. The company products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and cookers sold under the Electrolux, AEG-Electrolux, Eureka and Frigidaire brands.

In 2009, Electrolux had sales of 109 billion kronor ($15.9 billion) and employed 51,000 staff.

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Sweden’s Electrolux sees big US deal stopped

UPDATED: Shares in Swedish white goods giant Electrolux plummeted on Monday morning after US firm General Electric, which was poised to sell its appliance division to the Nordic firm, cancelled the agreement.

Sweden's Electrolux sees big US deal stopped
Electrolux's office in Kungsholmen, Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT
Electrolux, which sells brands including Frigidaire, AEG and Zanussi as well as its own name, is already the world's second-largest home appliance maker after Whirlpool.
It announced a year ago that it wanted to buy part of General Electric (GE).
But the US firm said on Monday that it has decided to cancel the agreement to sell its appliance division to the Swedish group which had offered last year to buy it for $3.3 billion.
The US Department of Justice had threatened to sue Electrolux and GE over concerns the deal would create a duopoly and hand Electrolux a US market share of some 40 percent.
Electrolux said it had made extensive efforts to obtain regulatory approval, and said it “regrets” that GE had terminated the agreement while the court procedure was still pending.
“Although we are disappointed that the acquisition will not be completed, Electrolux is confident that the Group has strong capabilities to continue to grow and develop its position as a global appliances manufacturer”, said Keith McLoughlin, President and CEO of Electrolux in a statement.
Shares in Electrolux — one of Sweden's most famous brands — initially dropped by 14 percent after the decision was announced, and remained 12 percent lower by mid-morning.
The failed deal has already cost the company millions of kronor in preparatory work and General Electric has requested a termination fee of $175 million.
GE revealed in a statement that it was still interested in selling the appliance division.
Monday's announcement took some analysts by surprise.
“I was surprised this deal was contested by the Justice Department, but then when we saw what their concern, which was the creation of duopoly in a part of the appliance market, it began not to look so good,” said Karri Rinta, an analyst with Handelsbanken Capital Markets.
“It's back to square one for Electrolux in North America. This is a deal that would have made them much stronger in the US especially against Samsung and LG,” he said.