Electrolux CEO Leaving Following Failed GE Deal

Electrolux the maker of home appliances in Sweden, said Monday that Keith McLoughlin its current CEO would retire and the company would replace him with Jonas Samuelson a senior executive, only a month after the company’s biggest deal in history collapsed.

McLoughlin is to hand over the reins to Samuelson on February 1. Samuelson, who is 47, was the CFO previously before taking over the Europe, Africa and Middle East division of the company. He joined the company in 2008.

The senior executive change comes one month after the company’s huge deal collapsed when General Electric walked away from an agreement of $3.3 billion to sell Electrolux its appliances business due to opposition from antitrust regulators in the U.S., which forced Electrolux to pay a termination fee of $175 million.

The deal’s failure, which would have had Electrolux leapfrog into the largest appliance maker in the world currently held by Whirlpool, raised questions about the strategy of Electrolux for the future.

Over the past few years, Electrolux has increased focus on its profitable segments such as cooking and increased its productivity through modularization or the use of components that are more common to a range of different products.

McLoughlin, who is 59, is an American who took the top spot at Electrolux in 2011. He said he would be returning to the U.S. when he retires.

His family already returned to the U.S. a number of years ago, and it was expected he would soon leave, even prior to the deal breaking down with GE.

Samuelson has been the biggest candidate internally to replace the American when he stepped down.

However, immediately following the deal collapsing with GE McLoughlin said in December he was committed to the company and would continue on as its CEO.

The profitability of the EMEA unit under the leadership of Samuelson has improved despite a market that is very tough and has intense pressure with regard to prices.

During the most recent third quarter of 2015, the division reached a 6.3% operating margin, which was its highest in 6 years.

 

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