Whirlpool Corporation at a Glance

Uppers

  • Extensive training for new hires
  • Lots of opportunity to advance to more lucrative positions
  • Solid pay and benefits package

Downers

  • The company's size sometimes lead to bureaucratic hassles
  • It can be easy for employees to get lost in the shuffle and a challenge to receive recognition for good work
  • Recent layoffs due to the weak economy

The Bottom Line

  • Whirlpool Corporation offers plenty of opportunities for job seekers and provides employees with good training programs and benefits.

About Whirlpool Corporation

With brand names recognized by just about anyone who has ever separated dark colors from light, Whirlpool is one of the world's top home appliance makers. It specializes in laundry appliances, refrigerators and freezers, cooking appliances, dishwashers, and compressors. They're sold under a bevy of brand names, including Whirlpool, Amana, KitchenAid, Maytag, Jenn-Air, and Roper. The company markets and distributes these major home appliances in North America, Latin America, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), and Asia. It has manufacturing operations in more than a dozen countries. Major customers include retailers Lowe's, Home Depot, Sears, and Best Buy.

Operations

Laundry Appliances and Refrigerators and Freezers both generates nearly 30% of sales; Cooking Appliances bring in nearly 20%, and Other products account for the remainder. It sells upwards of 70 million units each year.

The company divides its business into four geographical regions: North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Latin America, and Asia. Each region shows variation in terms of its premier brands.

Whirlpool operates 42 manufacturing facilities across the world.

Geographic Reach

Whirlpool sells its products globally, and has some 70 manufacturing and technology research centers throughout the world.

North America generates more than 50% of total sales; EMEA around 25%; Latin America 15%; and the Asia-Pacific region more than 5%.

Sales and Marketing

Whirlpool distributes its products to several big-name retail customers, including: Lowe's, Sears, Home Depot, Best Buy, IKEA, and Alno. In North America, the company sells products to other manufacturers, distributors, builders, and retailers for resale under those manufacturers' and retailers' brand names.

Financial Performance

Whirlpool had been growing at about $1 billion a year, until fiscal 2016 when revenue slipped back by around 1%. The primary culprits were unfavorable currency exchange effects and product/price mix, partially offset by s% higher unit volumes sold at 71,700.

Geographically, the picture was mixed. The large North America segment grew revenue 4% on the back of an 8% increase in volume sales, but EMEA fell 8% and Latin America 5% (Asia-Pacific sales grew immaterially). Weakness in EMEA was a result of foreign currency impacts and a 2% fall in units sold, while in Latin America a 12% decrease in units sold was partially offset by favorable product price/mix.

Net income grew 13% to $888 million thanks to productivity gains, acquisition synergies, capacity reduction initiatives, and lower restructuring costs.

Cash from operations fell 2% to $1.2 billion as higher net income was offset by changes in accounts receivable.

Strategy

Whirlpool is looking to tighten its operations by implementing cost-based price increases, initiating cost reduction efforts, and making productivity improvements. In 2016 initiatives such as predictive analytics, waste reduction, automation, and improving assembly yield helped save more than $300 million.

At the same time, these cost savings are intended to allow the company to spend more on R&D for new product innovation and the improvement of existing products. Indeed, Whirlpool spent $600 million on R&D in 2016, launching French-door refrigerators in North America, touch-responsive washing machines in Asia, and a washing machine with a bulk dispenser.

In an effort to focus more on its consumer-facing operations, the company agreed in mid-2018 to tell its compressor business to Japan-based Nidec for just more than $1 billion.

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Whirlpool Corporation

2000 N M-63
Benton Harbor, MI 49022-2692
Phone: 1 (269) 923-5000
Fax: 1 (269) 923-3214

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: WHR
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • CEO and Director: Marc R. Bitzer
  • Chairman: Jeff M. Fettig
  • EVP and CFO: James W. Peters
  • 2017 Employees: 92,000

Major Office Locations

  • Benton Harbor, MI

Other Locations

  • Moulton, AL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Aurora, CO
  • Washington, DC
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Longwood, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Pompano Beach, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Mcdonough, GA
  • Smyrna, GA
  • Amana, IA
  • Newton, IA
  • West Des Moines, IA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Des Plaines, IL
  • Montgomery, IL
  • Port Barrington, IL
  • Evansville, IN
  • La Porte, IN
  • Plainfield, IN
  • Somerset, KY
  • Mandeville, LA
  • Metairie, LA
  • Baldwin, MI
  • Livonia, MI
  • Saint Joseph, MI
  • New Ulm, MN
  • Earth City, MO
  • Fargo, ND
  • Omaha, NE
  • Asbury Park, NJ
  • Matawan, NJ
  • Middletown, NJ
  • Clyde, OH
  • Findlay, OH
  • Greenville, OH
  • Lockbourne, OH
  • Marion, OH
  • Ottawa, OH
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Jackson, TN
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Odessa, TX
  • Winchester, VA
  • Spanaway, WA
  • Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Calgary, Canada
  • Edmonton, Canada
  • Milton, Canada
  • Mississauga, Canada
  • Nepean, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Victoria, Canada
  • Kalamaria, Greece
  • Fabriano, Italy
  • None, Italy
  • Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Sandnes, Norway
  • Trondheim, Norway
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