Former Whirlpool exec dodges trade-secret claims over Haier move

An Italian former Whirlpool Corp executive who left for appliance-industry competitor Haier has defeated, for now, claims in Delaware federal court that he stole company trade secrets.

Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool failed to show that the court had jurisdiction over the claims against Davide Cabri and could not block him from working for Haier’s European subsidiary Candy Hoover Group, a federal judge said Thursday.

However, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Evan Wallach allowed Whirlpool’s claim that Cabri breached a contract with the company to move forward.

Whirlpool said in a statement provided Friday by its attorney that it would continue with the case and “vigorously explore all possible avenues” to protect its proprietary information.

Cabri’s attorney and Haier Europe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cabri worked for Whirlpool for more than 32 years and was a high-level executive in Whirlpool’s global laundry division before telling the company he had accepted a new job at Candy Hoover last April.

Whirlpool sued Cabri in July, arguing Haier had hired Cabri for its laundry division because he knew Whirlpool’s trade secrets and said it would be impossible for him to perform his new role without misusing them.

Wallach dismissed the trade-secret claims Thursday, rejecting Whirlpool’s argument that the Delaware court could hear them based on a forum-selection clause in a company agreement with Cabri. The agreement, which relates to an incentive plan, is not related to the trade-secret claims, Wallach said.

The court gave Whirlpool a chance to refile the claims, though it said there was an “absence of any other facts” to support a jurisdiction finding.

Whirlpool’s claim that Cabri was required to repay over $400,000 in incentives under the agreement survived Cabri’s motion to dismiss. Wallach rejected Cabri’s argument that the dispute should be heard in Italy.

WHIRLPOOL CORP. OUTLINES PROGRESS ON NET ZERO TARGETS

Whirlpool Corporation today issued an update on progress towards achieving Net Zero targets the company first announced in May of 2021. As part of this update, Whirlpool Corp.—building on its long history of improved environmental performance—is accelerating its commitment to sustainable operations through investments in renewable energy, manufacturing plant retrofits, and on-going energy, water, and waste reduction projects.

“Our vision at Whirlpool is to improve life at home. We know fulfilling that vision requires us to think not just in terms of the four walls around us and the communities in which we live, but of the planet that sustains us,” said Marc Bitzer, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corp. “Over the course of our history we have consistently developed products and technologies that deliver on this vision.”

Demonstrating Action*
In 2021, Whirlpool Corp.:

Drove a 27 percent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally for all Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions compared to a 2016 baseline, accelerating the company’s progress to meet its Net-Zero target by 2030.Achieved 14 percent  Scope 3 Category 11 emissions reduction, in line with its target reduction of 20 percent by 2030, compared to 2016 levels.Issued its first Sustainability Bond, withthe proceeds allocated to drive positive environmental and social impacts.Continued to develop innovative technologies and products that reduce its environmental impact.

Whirlpool Corp.’s approach to fostering long-term, sustainably-resilient operations starts with innovative design and technology to improve energy and water efficiency, as well as recyclability. Continuous improvements as part of the World Class Manufacturing process have been rolled out in plants and operations across the manufacturing process and supply chain.

“Whirlpool takes a holistic, long-term approach to environmental sustainability,” said Ron Voglewede, director of sustainability. “It’s not too far into the future that we envisage manufacturing home appliances in plants that are 100 percent renewable-powered with off-site and expanded on-site wind farms and solar panels, and an end-of-life product recycling program which directly feeds into our own supply chain for new products.”Whirlpool Corp. is one of the largest onsite wind energy consumers among Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. Through expanding on-site renewables, additional Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs), and green energy procurement, the company targets a nearly one-third reduction in its global carbon footprint in its operations.

The company is on track to achieve its Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWtL) goal for all manufacturing sites by the end of the year. Currently, 90 percent of its sites have achieved Gold or Platinum ratings using the UL ECVP 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill standard. The company has also recently joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)  Better Climate Challenge, targeting a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent within 10 years and collaborating with the DOE and other organizations to cut carbon and save energy. Over the past five years, it has also achieved a 34 percent reduction in water consumption in its operations globally. 

Advancing a Sustainable Future Through Our Products
Whirlpool Corp.’s average refrigerators use less energy than a 60 watt light bulb, its clothes washers have 57 percent more capacity than they did in 1992, and they use 78 percent less energy1—all without compromising quality and function. Overall, Whirlpool Corp. has reduced by 60 percent its product emissions since 2005, and continues to invest in innovation to launch leading products that improve performance, while lowering their overall carbon footprint.

An initiative in Europe has led to the removal of expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging from cooking products and dishwashers sold to one of its large retail customers. The company also considers how it can use its scale and its presence in approximately 70 percent of U.S. homes2, to drive sustainable behaviors—from educating consumers about not needing to pre-rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, to using connected appliance features to run their appliances during the best times to lower their costs and have the least impact on the electrical grid.To learn more about Whirlpool Corp.’s progress, please view the recently released 2021 Sustainability Report http://whirlpoolcorp.com/2021SustainabilityReport/

Whirlpool Named One of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies

Whirlpool Corp. has once again been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies. This marks the twelfth consecutive year that Whirlpool Corporation has been named to the list, which includes the most respected and reputable companies around the world, as ranked by peers within their respective industries.

“We are honored to be named one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies for the twelfth year in a row,” said Marc Bitzer, CEO and chairman, Whirlpool Corp.

“The recognition is a direct result of the dedication and innovative thinking by our team members, all of whom continue to work tirelessly to serve our customers, support our communities, and protect our planet.”

For 110 years, Whirlpool Corp. has prioritized responsible business practices to drive purposeful innovation and instill a culture of respect, integrity, and teamwork. As a result of these efforts, the company continues to progress many of its environmental and social goals, as well as implement employee development programs to support the advancement of its workforce. In recognition of this ongoing commitment, Whirlpool Corp. was recently named to America’s most JUST Companies for 2022 and Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies for 2022.

New world-class facility for Whirlpool

Whirlpool Corporation announced the relocation to a new facility in Pune for the Global Technology & Engineering Center (GTEC) of its Global Product Organization. GTEC is one of the largest innovation centers for Whirlpool around the world and a critical arm to its global product research and development. India has been a great source of talent with strong capabilities that accelerate GTEC’s role as one of the innovation powerhouses of Whirlpool. GTEC is engaged in developing current and future technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, Industry 4.0, enabling purposeful innovations for Whirlpool.

LG Electronics edges out Whirlpool for top household appliance-maker title

LG Electronics recorded an all-time high of 74 trillion won in sales last year, surpassing US electronics giant Whirlpool to become the world’s top producer of home appliances.

LG Electronics announced on Thursday that it made an operating profit of 3.86 trillion won by generating a total of 74.72 trillion won (approximately US$61.9 billion) in revenue last year. Sales rose 28.7% year-on-year, but operating profit fell 1.1%.

This is the first time that LG Electronics’ annual sales exceeded 70 trillion won. The company attributed its record figures to “strong sales of premium home appliances and OLED TVs,” adding that “about 60% of sales, or 44 billion won, came from LG’s home appliance and air solution and home entertainment divisions.”

The company’s home appliances and home entertainment divisions greatly helped in protecting business profits. The two areas recorded operating profits of 2.22 trillion won and 1.99.8 trillion won, respectively.

However, even though 2021 fourth-quarter household appliances sales reached 6.52 trillion won, operating profit topped out at 157.1 billion won. Sales were highest in the fourth quarter, but operating profit was down 44.8% compared to the same period in 2020.

“Increases in costs due to an increase in raw material prices and an increase in logistics costs played a major role,” LG explained.

Whirlpool, on the other hand, announced that it had recorded $21.98 billion in sales last year. Whirlpool is an American electronics company that has competed with LG Electronics for the No. 1 spot in the global home appliance market. If calculated in won, Whirlpool’s total sales last year came to around 25 trillion won — 2 trillion won less than LG Electronics’ household appliances sales of 27 trillion won in 2021

Whirlpool’s financial highlights

Whirlpool Corporation reported Q4 and full-year 2021 earnings. Our full-year financial highlights include:
✔️ 13% year over year organic revenue growth
✔️ Record ongoing EBIT margin of 10.8%
✔️ Record ongoing earnings per diluted share of $26.59
✔️ Record free cash flow generation of $2B

Complete results and non-GAAP reconciliations can be found at:https://investors.whirlpoolcorp.com/news-and-events/news/news-details/2022/Whirlpool-Delivers-Record-Performance-in-2021-and-Guides-Towards-Another-Strong-2022/default.aspx

Whirlpool Named One of America’s Most Just Companies

Whirlpool has been recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies in the annual rankings published today by CNBC and JUST Capital. The company ranked number one in the Household Goods and Apparel industry and in the top 150 of companies overall.

Through vigorous, objective analysis, JUST Capital, in partnership with CNBC, evaluates and celebrates U.S. corporations that outperform on the issues that matter most to the American public—such as creating jobs in the U.S., paying a fair, living wage, prioritizing accountability to all stakeholders, protecting worker health and safety, providing benefits and work-life balance, cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace, producing sustainable products, and protecting customer privacy. 

Whirlpool Corp. has made considerable progress toward its social and environmental goals, taking meaningful action to protect the planet and support the communities in which it operates. As a result of these efforts, the company is regularly recognized for its long-standing commitment to sustainability, citizenship, and Inclusion and Diversity. 

Whirlpool new lineup of convertible chest freezers

Whirlpool’s new chest freezers can easily be converted to refrigerators based on storage needs”. Whirlpool unveiled two new models, including the WZC5216L chest freezer with shelves and WZC5116L convertible freezer to refrigerator with baskets, both available in white finish. The features include: Led lighting, counterbalanced lid, raised shelf and divider (user can create a dedicated space for favorite items that everyone can reach using the raised shelf and divider), built-in drain and rollers (user can lift and shift the freezer to where it’s needed with two smooth-gliding bottom rollers on one side of the unit).

Whirlpool Corporation Named to 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

Whirlpool Corporation has been named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) North America Index in recognition of the Company’s ongoing focus on environmental and social responsibility. Amid a record number of companies participating in the assessment in 2021, this marks Whirlpool Corporation’s 15th year on the list

Whirlpool $65 million investment in factory

Whirlpool Corporation announced today it is investing more than $65 million over the next several years into its factory in Ottawa, Ohio as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to position the plant as the Premium Refrigeration Factory in its North American Region (NAR). The investment will include an expansion of the Ottawa plant to accommodate production of premium refrigeration products, including Built-In Refrigerator (BIR) production.

With the expected growth of the BIR market, the investment will increase production and provide Whirlpool Corporation with a critical competitive advantage. In addition to plant expansion, this investment will also create 100+ additional jobs. Expansion of the facility’s existing footprint will begin in mid-2022, with Ottawa assuming full production in 2023.

The cutting-edge advancements and Ohio talent will provide a strong competitive advantage as Whirlpool positions Ottawa to be a premium refrigeration plant in the North American market.”

“We’re excited about this investment in the future of the Ottawa Operations and in our people,” said Whirlpool Corporation VP of Integrated Supply Chain and Quality Don Metzelaar. “This is a testament to our skilled workforce, and will unlock our potential to bring the newest and best refrigeration innovation to our customers who count on us to improve their lives at home.”

The company’s Ottawa Operations were established in 1990, and currently produce freezers, under counter ice makers and hybrid heat-pump bases for ventless dryers. Its 485+ employees manufacture products for the Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Amana, Maytag, Gladiator and JennAir brands. The strong collaboration with JobsOhio, Regional Growth Partnership, state and local officials, including the commitment of tax benefits and a JobsOhio grant, supported this important investment decision for the Ottawa operations. This project is contingent on approval of state and local incentives.

“Whirlpool’s plans to invest in its Ottawa facility will bring 100 good-paying new jobs and the latest refrigeration production technology,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “The cutting-edge advancements and Ohio talent will provide a strong competitive advantage as Whirlpool positions Ottawa to be a premium refrigeration plant in the North American market