LOUISVILLE (June 21, 2017) — GE Appliances CEO Chip Blankenship has elected to exit the business at the end of 2017, the company announced Wednesday. Blankenship provided nearly six years of strong and valued leadership, the company said.
Succeeding Blankenship as President & CEO is Kevin Nolan, currently VP and Chief Technology Officer for GEA and Qingdao Haier, who will be joined in the newly created GEA Executive Council by Melanie Cook, currently GEA’s VP of Sourcing, in the role of Chief Operating Officer; and Rick Hasselbeck, currently GEA’s Chief Marketing Officer, in the role of Chief Commercial Officer.
Nolan, Cook and Hasselbeck will begin their new roles immediately and will work with Blankenship to facilitate a seamless transition for employees, customers and partners.
“During my tenure leading GE Appliances, we have achieved significant improvements in our products, plants and processes that have made us more competitive and yielded improved financial performance,” said Blankenship. “With that strong foundation in place, the support of our parent company—which is 100 percent focused on leadership in the appliances industry— and the amazing GE Appliances team, we are ready to launch the next phase of our strategy and growth. It is the right time for me to pass leadership of the business to three strong GE Appliances executives who will bring the expertise needed to accelerate further growth in the strategic areas of technological innovation, operational excellence and building closer connections with customers and consumers.”
Mr. Liang Haishan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qingdao Haier, said, “We are grateful to Chip for the passion, commitment and the expertise he has devoted to GE Appliances, particularly during the transition and integration with Haier. The business’s performance and leadership team under Chip’s direction has exceeded our expectations during our first year together. GEA’s performance following the acquisition in 2016 surpassed initial internal forecasts. The business is well positioned to build on these successes and move into its next phase of growth and development.”
Liang continued, “The fact that Kevin, Melanie and Rick are internal appointments reflects both the faith and confidence that Qingdao Haier has always had in GE Appliances’ management, as well as the excellent working relationship we have developed with the team. We are confident that under their leadership, GE Appliances will become the clear appliances industry leader in North America.”