Appliance maker opens overseas HQ
An appliance maker in the region has opened a new overseas headquarters.
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation said it dedicated its new Europe, Middle East and Africa, or EMEA, headquarters yesterday in Milan, with the help of Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
The building chosen for Whirlpool’s EMEA headquarters is in the Perseo Expo District and will accommodate more than 600 employees from 28 countries in a “modern and collaborative” working environment.
“The location of our new headquarters offers our employees a dynamic and multi-cultural environment,” said Esther Berrozpe Galindo, Whirlpool EMEA president and Whirlpool Corporation EVP.
The company is working with local government and universities to identify possible new uses for the site of its former EMEA headquarters building in Comerio, Italy.
Whirlpool EMEA also opened The World of Whirlpool, its new flagship showroom in Milan, to showcase the “world's most advanced” home appliance technology and design.
The new 5,400-square-foot facility displays products from four of Whirlpool Corporation's leading European brands, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit.
It is designed to give guests an opportunity to explore and experiment with products via interactive content, demonstration cooking stations and educational and recreational activities.
Presence in Italy
Whirlpool Corporation employs more than 6,000 people at eight locations in Italy.
The company plans to invest $350 million into research and development in the EMEA region by the end of 2018, with the majority having been allocated to its two advanced research centers in Italy.
Whirlpool said it will retain its roots in the Varese area of Italy.
The EMEA region's built-in products center — for microwaves, fridges and ovens — in Cassinetta di Biandronno in Italy will continue with about 2,000 employees working in industrial operations, procurement and two global research and design centers: Global Consumer Design and Global Food Institute.
In 2016, Whirlpool Corporation reported about $21 billion in annual sales.
The company employs 93,000 people and has 70 manufacturing and technology research centers worldwide.