Woodhead Industries announces new organizational structure

Deerfield, Ill. - Woodhead Industries Inc. announced on October 17 several organizational changes as part of the corporate strategy to continue to streamline operations and focus sales and marketing efforts to maximize revenue and efficiency.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor October 29, 2001

Deerfield, Ill. – Woodhead Industries Inc. announced on October 17 several organizational changes as part of the corporate strategy to continue to streamline operations and focus sales and marketing efforts to maximize revenue and efficiency.

Philippe Lemaitre, Woodhead Industries’ president and ceo, commented, ‘As we begin fiscal year 2002, we are making certain organizational changes that we believe are essential to ensure the successful execution of our corporate strategy and the future direction of our company. We will continue to remain lean and are not adding to our headcount or cost structure in order to achieve our strategic objectives.’

Mr. Lemaitre continued, ‘The changes we are initiating represent major actions to establish a structure that supports our corporate strategy and to enable faster growth in our chosen markets. I believe these changes will better focus our human resources on those tasks critical to our future success and we are committed to the successful and rapid implementation of all of these actions to continue to improve our competitive advantage.’

The Connectivity business will continue to be organized on a regional basis by North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition, strategy and marketing functions are being created that will cross geographic boundaries in order to better integrate product offerings, support services, and production capabilities to serve customers in a more efficient manner. Technology development and research will be driven by customer inputs and product road maps will be developed on a global basis.

Ed Nabrotzky has been appointed to the position of vice president, Strategy and Business Development, Industrial Communications. In this newly created position, Mr. Nabrotzky will have responsibility for defining technology and product road maps and initiating the development of new product groups and applications in the industrial communications market on a global basis.

Similar global positions for connector products and for optical products will be created at a later date.

The marketing function for Connectivity is being organized to be industry centric first, network or product centric second. Its principal role will be to develop worldwide industry views for the Company’s products and solutions in conjunction with global product strategies. This group will also develop industry specific market capture and penetration strategies.

The sales organization will be enhanced and restructured to better focus sales efforts according to different customer needs and channels: distribution (electrical and connectivity), industry (connectivity), product (Advanced Interconnect and Aero-Motive).

The current North American sales force, with some minor changes, will continue to be responsible for the sale of Woodhead’s core catalog products through its traditional sales channels of electrical distributors, catalog houses, buying groups, and key national accounts. Pat Stearns, vice president, Sales will head this effort and report to Terry Spandet, president, Daniel Woodhead Co.

For the Connectivity business, a consultative selling group is being created which will be dedicated to executing the sales actions defined by Connectivity’s marketing strategies and plans in North America. This new consultative selling organization will be responsible for increasing direct industry-oriented product and solutions sales in markets not currently served by Woodhead’s traditional distribution sales channels. This organization will include the current SST sales organization and be directed by Paul Eitmant, senior vice president, Connectivity, N. A., reporting to Charlie Andersen, president, Connectivity, N. A.

Advanced Interconnect is also establishing a new national sales capability under the direction of Steve Demarais vice president, Sales and Marketing. In addition, AI is initiating an international business with its first base in Europe under the direction of Steve DeJordy, business development manager, AI Europe. A separate sales force is being established for the sale of Aero-Motive products through industrial distributors and direct sales to key accounts and OEM accounts. The Aero-Motive sales organization will be led by Maury Evans, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Aero-Motive Company, who will report to Duane Wiedor, president, Aero-Motive Company.

In order to achieve greater operational efficiency and better utilize existing resources, Woodhead is consolidating some business locations under broader organizational units. Initially, this will occur in countries where the Company has multiple locations.

Ron Norrey’s role as president, Woodhead Canada Limited has been expanded and will include overall responsibility for business operations in Waterloo and Mississauga. Ron will report to Charlie Andersen, president, Woodhead Connectivity, N. A.

The Company is also consolidating business functions in France, Italy and Germany.

Woodhead Industries develops, manufactures, and markets electronic and industrial communications products, primarily serving the global automation and control market with connectivity solutions and specialty electrical products. Through its connectivity group, Woodhead provides the industrial automation industry with a single, worldwide source for industrial communications and connectivity solutions. Its product lines are comprised of six brands: SST, Brad Harrison, mPm, RJ Lnxx, applicom, and NetAlert.

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