Johnson Controls promotes company vet to CEO
Johnson Controls Inc., an auto parts and temperature control systems manufacturer, promoted its current Vice Chairman Stephen Roell to the role of chief executive officer and board chairman, according to Forbes
The Milwaukee-based company’s current board chairman and CEO John Barth, who has worked for the company for 38 years, will retire on December 31. Roell will take over as CEO on October 1 and as chair of the company's board of directors on January 1.
Roell joined Johnson Controls in 1982 and served as senior vice president and chief financial officer from 1991 to 2004. In 2004 he was elected to the board of directors and was named executive vice president. He was then named vice chairman in 2005.
Roell earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from St. Ambrose University and received a Certificate of Management Development from Northeastern University.
Johnson Controls is a global supplier of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning mechanical equipment and services. The company operates in three primary businesses: Building Efficiency, Automotive Experience and Power Solutions. The company also develops batteries for hybrid gas-electric vehicles, including lithium-ion batteries.
Roell said in a statement that as CEO his priorities will remain aligned with Johnson Controls
’ current direction to further the success of the company.
WinmoEdge spoke with Monica Levy, the company’s executive director of branding, about Johnson Controls’ marketing strategies.
She said that the company is primarily a B-to-B company, and markets it products and services through a variety of direct, wholesale and retail channels to its customers.
Levy also said that Roell was “perfect” for his new position of CEO because he is very experienced in “all facets of the company’s operations, including marketing.”
As for the future of Johnson Controls’ marketing techniques, she said that the company “has been successful in the past and will continue to be aggressive in driving future growth. Our marketing initiatives will keep pace with our customers’ needs.”
Levy said that the company has a few agencies in place and that Johnson Controls’ needs are being met so far.
According to The List database, Milwaukee-based Branigan Communications is currently handling Johnson Controls’ public relations initiatives and Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt has served as the company’s agency of record since 1998.
According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the company spent approximately $2 million on national advertising in 2006. About $1.5 million was spent on network radio, $300,000 was spent on national magazines and $200,000 was spent on spot radio.
Although Johnson Controls is currently working with a few agencies and is doing well right now, things may change as soon as Roell has gotten comfortable in his position of CEO. You may want to wait a few months until he is settled in his new role and is looking to make decisions regarding the company’s marketing strategies. Until then, agencies with B-to-B marketing experience might want to focus on the hybrid batteries that the company manufactures, because it is becoming such a hot commodity in recent months.
Johnson Controls Inc.
5757 North Green Bay Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53209
Director of Marketing & Sales
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer