Maytag appoints acting president of its appliances segment

Maytag appoints acting president of its appliances segment
 
Date November 17, 2005
Section(s) Local News
Brief  
 
By DAVID PITT

AP Business Writer

The Maytag Corp. executive in charge of the company’s expanding services unit was promoted to run the company’s appliances division, its largest business segment, the company announced Wednesday.

Arthur B. Learmonth, 59, was named acting president of Maytag Appliances and will direct the manufacturing and marketing of major appliances and floor care products sold in North America, the company said in a statement.

Learmonth will report to CEO Ralph Hake.

“Art Learmonth is a talented and proven executive who brings a wealth of operations experience from his 35-year career working in manufacturing and supply chain positions,” Hake said in the statement. “His skills will be invaluable as we manage through our restructuring initiatives.”

Hake has said the company must reduce its manufacturing costs by closing underutilized factories.

Maytag announced last week it will close its washing machine factory in Florence, S.C., by early next year. Plants in Newton, Iowa, and North Canton, Ohio, have been frequently mentioned as others with high costs and excess capacity.

The purchase of Newton-based Maytag by rival Whirlpool Corp. for $1.79 billion, or $21 a share, is under review by the Department of Justice. Maytag shareholders will vote on the proposed purchase by Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool on Dec. 16.

Learmonth joined Maytag Appliances in 1997 as vice president of manufacturing and engineering. He was promoted to senior vice president of supply chain in 2003 and then assumed his most recent position at Maytag Services in 2004.

William L. Beer served as president of the appliances segment from 1998 to 2004, but at the time the position did not oversee floor care manufacturing. Beer became an executive vice president during a company restructuring in June 2004 when Maytag consolidated its Hoover, Maytag Appliances and headquarters divisions.

In January, Maytag announced that Beer would leave the company, ending his 31-year Maytag career.

Maytag also announced on Wednesday that David R. McConnaughey, 49, will fill the position vacated by Learmonth as head of Maytag Services. The division provides repair and maintenance to Maytag brand appliances as well as other major appliance brands.

Maytag manufactures and distributes appliances under Hoover, Jenn-Air, Amana and Dixie-Narco brands.

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