Whirlpool Corporation

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Whirlpool Corporation
Traded as NYSEWHR
S&P 500 Component
Industry Household appliances
Founded St. Joseph, Michigan (1911)
Founder Louis Upton
Emory Upton
Headquarters Benton Charter Township, Michigan, United States
Area served
Key people
Jeff M. Fettig
(Chairman and CEO)
Products Major and Small appliances
Revenue Increase US$ 19.9 billion (2014)[1]
Decrease US$ 1.188 billion (2014)[1]
Profit Decrease US$ 650 million (2014)[1]
Total assets Increase US$ 20.002 billion (2014)[1]
Total equity Decrease US$ 4.885 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
~100,000 (2014)[1]
Website www.whirlpoolcorp.com
Showroom in Hong Kong

The Whirlpool Corporation is an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, headquartered in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, United States, near Benton Harbor, Michigan.[2][3] The Fortune 500[4] company has annual revenue of approximately $20 billion, 100,000 employees, and more than 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Gladiator GarageWorks, Inglis, Estate, Brastemp, Bauknecht, Indesit and Consul. After acquiring the Maytag Corporation on March 31, 2006, the Whirlpool Corporation surpassed Electrolux to become "the largest home appliance maker in the world."[5]

In the U.S., Whirlpool has eight manufacturing facilities: Amana, Iowa; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Cleveland, Tennessee; Ohio: Clyde, Findlay, Greenville, Marion (and Ottawa, Ohio).


1911 Louis and Emory Upton founded the Upton Machine Company on November 11, 1911. With the financial aid of Lowell Bassford, they began to produce electric, motor-driven wringer washers. Soon after its founding, Lou Upton's younger brother Fred joined the company and was an integral part of the business.

Federal Electric ordered 100 machines, but a gear failed in the transmission of them. Louis Upton immediately replaced them at no cost to Federal Electric, who were so impressed with Upton's ethics, they immediately doubled their order.

1916 Sears, Roebuck & Co. began selling Upton manufactured machines under the "Allen" brand, one for $54.75 and a deluxe model for $95.
1929 Upton merged with Nineteen Hundred Washer Company of Binghamton, New York, taking the name Nineteen Hundred Corporation.
1942 Nineteen Hundred Corporation began converting all of its factories for war production.
1946 Nineteen Hundred Corporation begins manufacturing appliances for John Inglis and Company of Canada.
1949 First top-loading automatic washer sold manufactured for sale under Sears' brand.
1950 The Nineteen Hundred Corporation was renamed as the Whirlpool Corporation, and sold its first top-loading automatic washer under the Whirlpool brand.
1951 Establishment of the Whirlpool Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Whirlpool Corporation.
1955 Acquires Seeger Refrigerator Company and RCA's air conditioner and cooking range lines including ownership of RCA's Estate brand name. Company changes its name to Whirlpool-Seeger Corporation and began using the RCA-Whirlpool brand name until the mid-1960s. Whirlpool acquires appliance division from International Harvester Company.
1956 Opened a 100-acre (0.40 km2) administrative center in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
1957 The RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen was introduced with an estimated 15 million television viewers. The company changed its corporate name back to Whirlpool Corporation.
1962 Won NASA's contract for the development of the feeding and waste systems for Project Gemini.
1966 Whirlpool drops the RCA name so the brand name becomes Whirlpool.
1967 Introduced a 24-hour helpline.
1968 Surpassed $1 billion in annual revenues.
1978 Surpassed $2 billion in annual revenues.
1986 Acquired KitchenAid, a division of the Hobart Corporation.
1987 Began selling compact washers in India and acquired majority interest in Inglis of Canada.
1988 Begins a joint venture with Philips called Whirlpool International with Whirlpool owning 53% of the company. The joint venture was formerly Philips' major appliance subsidiary.
1989 Acquired the Roper brand and Bauknecht of Germany.

Surpassed $6 billion in annual revenue.

1991 Whirlpool becomes full owner of Whirlpool International by buying Philips' 47% stake.
1997 Acquired majority stake on Embraco, a Brazilian world-leading maker of compressors for refrigeration.
2000 Acquired Brazilian appliance maker Multibrás, owner of the brands Brastemp and Consul, including its stake on Embraco.
2001 Inglis Ltd. changes its name to Whirlpool Canada. Whirlpool continues to market Inglis appliances to this day. Surpassed $10 billion in annual revenues.
2002 Surpassed $11 billion in annual revenues.
2003 Surpassed $12 billion in annual revenues.
2004 Surpassed $13 billion in annual revenues.
2005 Maytag Corporation shareholders voted to accept Whirlpool Corporation's stock purchase. U.S. Justice Department began a review of the merger.

Surpassed $14 billion in annual revenues.

2006 Acquired the Maytag, including the Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Jade, Magic Chef, Admiral, Hoover, and Dixie-Narco brands, after Justice Department approved the merger. Sold Dixie-Narco to Crane Co., and Amana Commercial to AGA.

Surpassed $18 billion in annual revenues.

2007 Sold Hoover to Techtronic Industries, TTI Floorcare.[6] and Jade Appliances to Middleby Corporation. Also closed plants in Newton, Iowa; Searcy, Arkansas; and Herrin, Illinois. This resulted in the sudden loss of 4500 jobs in the affected communities.

Surpassed $19 billion in annual revenues.

2008 Location closings in La Vergne, Tenn; Reynosa, Mexico; and Oxford, Miss. Later the announcement of Dishwasher plant in Jackson, TN to close in August 2009
2009 Whirlpool acquired WC Woods from Bankruptcy [7] and closed the company's Evansville, Indiana plant;[8] Whirlpool has received $19.3 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding as part of its Smart Grid Investment Grant program [9]
2010 Whirlpool announced plans for its 100th Anniversary in 2011 and unveiled its 100th Anniversary logo as well as an updated corporate logo. The celebrations shall take place in Benton Harbor, Michigan on 11/11/11.[10]

Also, took over former KarstadtQuelle brand Privileg from Otto Group.[11]

2011 Whirlpool announces the closure of the Fort Smith, Arkansas plant. Production of built-in refrigerators will shift to Amana, Iowa. Production of trash compactors will shift to Ottawa, Ohio. Production of the reduced, declining volumes of side-by-side refrigerators will be accommodated within current excess capacity in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico where employment levels will remain flat to negative.[12]
2012 Whirlpool opens a new manufacturing plant in Cleveland, Tennessee replacing a 123-year-old facility. The $200 million project added about 130 jobs to an established workforce of 1,500. The 1-million-square-foot (93,000 m2) facility manufactures premium cooking appliances for Whirlpool's portfolio of brands. The project also includes a distribution center.[13]
2013 In August, Whirlpool announced it would acquire a 51% majority stake in China’s Hefei Sanyo (a joint venture between Japan's Sanyo Electric Co, now a unit of Panasonic Corp, and Hefei State-Owned Assets Holding Company Ltd, the investment arm of the local state government) for $552 million and give the company leverage to expand in the Chinese appliance market.[14]
2014 In July, Whirlpool announced it has agreed to pay 758 million euros ($1 billion) to buy a 60 percent stake in Italian rival Indesit to further expand beyond its U.S. home market.[15]
2014 In December, Whirlpool completed a successful mandatory tender offer for the remaining shares and delisted Indesit from the Milan Stock Exchange. Indesit is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Italia Holdings S.r.l.[16]


Whirlpool Corporation has seven employee-run diversity networks that are involved with business, employee, and community projects to address the needs of the groups they represent. These diversity networks are The Women's Network (TWN), the Native American Network (NAN), the Whirlpool African American Network (WAAN), The Pride Network (PRIDE), the Whirlpool Asian Community (WAC), the Whirlpool Hispanic Network (WHN), and the Young Professionals Network (YP).

LGBT Commitment[edit]

In 2004, Whirlpool received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) released by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equal rights organization Human Rights Campaign. At the time, Whirpool was the first and only major appliance manufacturer to be awarded a perfect score.[17] To date, Whirlpool Corporation has achieved a perfect CEI score for 11 consecutive years.[18] Notably, Whirlpool has offered domestic partner benefits since 2002 and has been a corporate leader nationwide on LGBT issues. Additionally, Whirlpool was the first appliance maker to feature same-sex families in its advertising in the United States.[19]

Charity work[edit]

Whirlpool Corporation is a principal supporter of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building low-cost, affordable housing. The company's commitment to Habitat for Humanity has exceeded $34 million and it has donated more than 73,000 appliances for Habitat homes. The company plans to support every Habitat home built globally by 2011, either through product donations, cash, or home sponsorship.[20]

In November 2006, Whirlpool started the annual Building Blocks program, designed to raise awareness and help eliminate substandard housing in the United States. Each year the program recognizes an outstanding U.S. Habitat for Humanity affiliate and its relationship with its local community by holding a week-long build in the affiliate’s community. The program kicked off in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2006 when Whirlpool united 100 local residents with 100 Whirlpool employees and volunteers from 100 Habitat affiliates. These 300 volunteers built 10 homes on one block from Nov. 5–10, 2006. Whirlpool built nine homes near Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2007, and nine more homes in Dallas, Texas in October 2008. The 2009 build is set to begin August 31 in Atlanta, Georgia.[21]

In 2006, more than 20 Whirlpool India employees participated in the week-long Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) in India, which resulted in the completion of 100 homes in a village near Mumbai. In 2005, Whirlpool India began a partnership with Habitat for Humanity India. Volunteers from Whirlpool participated in the build organized by Habitat for Tsunami victims in the southern part of India.

In June 2005, Habitat for Humanity held its annual Jimmy Carter Work Project in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This week-long effort culminating in the completion of more than 230 houses in Michigan. Whirlpool was the lead sponsor for the build and 270 Whirlpool employees from 19 nations worked together to build 10 houses during the week.

To facilitate Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Whirlpool worked with Habitat to support “Operation Home Delivery.” Whirlpool employees helped construct approximately 50 pre-built homes in New York’s Rockefeller Center that were boxed and shipped to Louisiana and Mississippi and later erected with the help of Whirlpool employees in St. Tamany Parrish, Louisiana. In January 2007, Whirlpool chose to hold its annual sales meeting in New Orleans. As part of that meeting, more than 1,000 Whirlpool employees spent one day volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in an effort to continue rebuilding New Orleans’ residential areas.

Since 2004, Whirlpool has sponsored entertainment icon Reba McEntire’s music tours to raise awareness and more than $500,000 for Habitat for Humanity.

Cook for the Cure: Cook for the Cure presented by KitchenAid, was created in 2001 to give passionate cooks a way to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Cook for the Cure has raised more than $4 million through donation-with-purchase programs, special fundraising events, auctions and grass roots initiatives. KitchenAid also supports breast cancer foundations in other countries including Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, Greece and Israel.


Whirlpool Corporation developed Freeze-dried ice cream in 1968 under contract to NASA for the Apollo missions.[22]

Major brands[edit]

Whirlpool also manufactures certain appliances under the Kenmore label, (manufactured for Sears Holdings Corporation) and Crosley top load washers. Whirlpool has expanded the marketing of Inglis appliances which are sold in the United States at Best Buy stores. Whirlpool also manufactures IKEA brand appliances for IKEA, Top Load laundry for Crosley and Admiral appliances for Home Depot.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Whirlpool: WhirlpoolCorporation-AnnualReport2014 Retrieved on April 6, 2015
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Whirlpool Corporation. Retrieved on April 28, 2010.
  3. ^ "Benton charter township, Michigan." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on April 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "Fortune 500 List". Fortune. February 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Newman, Rick (March 11, 2006). "With Maytag Buy, Whirlpool Is Awash in Sales". U.S. News and World Report. 
  6. ^ Lam, Judy (December 7, 2006). "Whirlpool to Sell Hoover Business For $107 Million to Techtronic". The Wall Street Journal. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ Bailey, Sara (December 9, 2009). "Whirlpool to purchase W.C. Wood". Putnam County Sentinel. 
  8. ^ "Whirlpool to close Evansville plant". Evansville Courier & Press. August 28, 2009. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  9. ^ Lombardi, Candace (October 29, 2009). "Whirlpool wants to pull plug on 'dumb' appliances". CNET. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  10. ^ "Whirlpool Corporation Unveils 100th Anniversary Logo" (Press release). Whirlpool. November 8, 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  11. ^ "Haushaltsgerätemarke: Otto verkauft Privileg an Whirlpool" [Appliances: Otto sells Privilege to Whirlpool]. Handelsblatt (in German). March 25, 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  12. ^ "Read Whirlpool's Complete Statement on Closing the Fort Smith Plant". Arkansas Business. October 27, 2011. Retrieved 2015-07-09. (subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "Whirlpool Opening New Plant In Tennessee". manufacturing.net. Associated Press. April 12, 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  14. ^ a b Rohit, T. K.; Kelleher, James B. (August 13, 2013). "Whirlpool buys 51 percent stake in China appliance maker". Reuters. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  15. ^ "UPDATE 3-Whirlpool to buy 60 percent of Italy's Indesit for $1 bln". Reuters. July 11, 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  16. ^ "Mandatory tender offer launched by Whirlpool Italia Holdings S.r.l. for 34,244,635 ordinary shares of Indesit Company S.p.A." (PDF) (Press release). Whirlpool Italia Holdings S.r.l. December 8, 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  17. ^ "Whirlpool Corp. receives ‘perfect’ score on equality". The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan). November 24, 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  18. ^ "Whirlpool Corporation Named One Of World's Most Admired Companies For Fifth Consecutive Year" (Press release). Whirlpool Corporation. February 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  19. ^ "Whirlpool Corporation Celebrates 10th Consecutive Perfect Score On Human Rights Campaign 2013 Corporate Equality Index" (Press release). Whirlpool Corporation. December 11, 2013. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  20. ^ "Whirlpool extends commitment to Habitat for Humanity". Habitat for Humanity. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Social Responsibility: Habitat for Humanity". Whirlpool.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  22. ^ Palmer, Roxanne (July 19, 2013). "A History Of Ice Cream Innovations, From Ancient China To NASA Astronauts And Dippin' Dots". International Business Times. Retrieved 2015-07-09.  The license is now held by Action Products International, Inc.

External links[edit]