Wednesday, August 03, 2005

John H. Platts, retired Whirlpool chairman and CEO, dies at 88

John H. Platts, retired Whirlpool chairman and CEO, dies at 88: "John H. Platts, retired Whirlpool chairman and CEO, dies at 88
August 2, 2005, 5:39 PM
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- John H. Platts, Whirlpool Corp.'s chairman and chief executive from 1971-82, has died. He was 88. "

Platts died Tuesday. The cause and location of his death were not immediately available.

He guided the Benton Harbor-based appliance maker during a time in which it was facing increased foreign competition and the U.S. economy was struggling with higher oil prices and double-digit inflation, Whirlpool said in a news release.

"John steered us through some difficult times and expanded our production capacity to help position Whirlpool for future opportunities," said Jeff Fettig, the company's current chairman, president and CEO. "The Whirlpool of today, the global leader of the home appliance industry, owes a great deal of gratitude to John Platt's leadership."

Platts joined Whirlpool in 1941 at the company's St. Joseph Division as an assemblyman on the wringer-washer line. He quickly moved into management, eventually becoming manager of laundry sales to Sears, Roebuck & Co. before being promoted to general manager of the Evansville (Ind.) Division.

He was made a vice president in 1959 and, a year later, he became vice president of the refrigeration group. He became president and joined the board of directors in 1962, Whirlpool said.

Platts was president until becoming chairman and CEO in 1971. He remained on the board until 1988, six years after his retirement from Whirlpool.

Funeral arrangements were pending at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home in St. Joseph.

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