Faucet seller GROHE taps new CEO
Premium plumbing fixture supplier GROHE named a new chief executive to lead brand growth in the Americas, according to the Building Onilne
Bloomindale, Ill.-based GROHE America announced the appointment of Jeffrey Ackerman as president and chief executive officer.
In this role, Ackerberg is responsible for overall growth of the GROHE brand in the United States, Canada, Central and South America. Ackerberg will take over his position from Andrew Stearns, who was recently appointed global chief supply officer for GROHE AG, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based parent company.
Ackerberg most recently served as president of Global Workspace Tools for ACCO Brands. For more than six years previous to that, Ackerberg held senior roles in marketing and business unit management at Kohler. He also held various sales and marketing leadership roles with Eveready-Energizer, Emerson Electric and Robert Bosch Corporation.
"Jeff comes to GROHE with exceptional industry experience," Global Executive Director of Sales Hans-Gerd Fuechtenkort said in a statement. "His priorities include bottom-line management responsibility and responsibility for business strategy, sales, new product development, marketing, customer service and financial planning."
GROHE entered the U.S. market in 1975 with a faucet line that looked and functioned differently than most domestic faucets available at the time. GROHE manufactures and sells faucets for custom homes and upscale remodeling projects.
Director of Marketing and Communications Al Degenova discussed GROHE America’s
2009 marketing plans with DailyVista .
Degenova said he is now working on budgets for 2009 and, until they are completed, marketing strategies will remain status quo.
“We’re kind of in flux right now and getting ready for next year,” Degenova said.
Degenova explained that as a wholesaler, the company works with retailers and plumbing suppliers to implement promotions. A prominent strategy focuses on “pull through” programs, such as gift-with-purchase for consumers and points-based incentive programs for plumbers.
The company has not used consumer advertising in the last three years, according to Degenova, but that may change next year.
In an effort to hedge against the weak economy, Degenova said, “(GROHE) may step up advertising next year.”
He said he is looking into Internet strategies and may also do some print advertising, noting that he doesn’t know for certain until the company finalizes its budgets.
Worldwide, GROHE appears to be strong. The company is expanding into Eastern Europe and India, and 2007 sales topped approximately $1.27 billion.
According to Degenova, GROHE engages Chicago-based L.C. Williams for public relations services and handles other creative jobs in-house. He said he is not ready to hear from agencies at the moment.
After the new year, reach out to Degenova to assist with possible new endeavors. The international company has been financially sound and may have deep pockets to boost marketing during recessionary times. Interactive agencies will catch his ear as he ponders Internet strategies.
GROHE America, Inc.
241 Covington Drive
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
President and Chief Executive Officer
Director of Marketing and Communications