Newell Rubbermaid Resets Organization, Turns Loss Into Profit in 3Q
William A. Burke III
ATLANTA-Newell Rubbermaid has introduced a new organization with two new sectors, Brand and Category Development and Best in Class Execution and Delivery.
The company also announced today that it posted net income of $108.3 million in its third quarter, reversing a net loss of $177.6 million in the third quarter of one year ago.
The Development Organization will be responsible for building brand ideas, spotlighting innovation and creating points of difference through design and product experience. Newell's marketing, insight, design, research and development, and corporate development talent will part of this organization.
The Delivery Organization will oversee profit-and-loss management and delivering the maximum commercial value from the growth ideas presented by the Development Organization. It will emphasize the building of partnerships with customers and suppliers, along with creating go-to-market capabilities in emerging markets. It will encompass supply chain, customer and channel development talent.
Product categories under the Delivery Organization will include tools, commercial products, writing products, baby and parenting products, home solutions and specialty products.
On the personnel side, Newell has promoted William A. Burke III, group president of Newell Professional, to chief operating officer and leader of the Delivery Organization. Mark Tarchetti, head of global corporate strategy at Unilever, will join the company in January as chief development officer and head of the Development Organization. Both Burke and Tarchetti will report to Michael Polk, Newell's president and CEO.
Joe Cavaliere, head of customer development for Unilever in North America, will join Newell as global chief customer officer, in charge of the customer and channel development leaders, and report to Burke. Richard Davies, head of Unilever's global insights function, will join the company as chief marketing and insights officer, overseeing marketing and insights talent, and report to Tarchetti.
Newell achieved the transformation from red to black ink in the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, in spite of slip in net sales of 0.9 percent, to $1.5 billion. The company's bottom line benefited from the absence of one-time asset impairment charges, which in last year's third quarter totaled $382.6 million.
Gross margin in the quarter picked up 50 basis points to finish at 37.9 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses fell 0.8 percent in dollars, but increased 10 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 24.8 percent.
"We have made excellent progress over the last year delivering results while also driving change," Polk said. "I see more potential in our business today than I imagined upon joining the company 15 months ago, and I am energized by the choices we are making, the team we are building and the opportunity ahead."