Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with 69 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Brastemp, Consul, Amana, and other major brand names to consumers in more than 170 countries.
Whirlpool Corporation is also the principal supplier to Sears, Roebuck and Co. of many major home appliances marketed under the Kenmore brand name. Other major retailers that carry Whirlpool products include Best Buy, IKEA, Home Depot and Lowe's.
In 2008, the company had sales of $18.9 billion, down from $19.4 billion, and net income of $418 million.
Whirlpool announced in August it will close its manufacturing facility in Evansville, IN. The closure will eliminate 1,100 full time positions in mid-2010. Production of top freezer refrigerators made at Evansville will be transferred to one of the company's existing manufacturing facilities in Mexico.
In 1911, brothers Louis, Frederick and Emory Upton of St. Joseph, MI invented their own electric, motor-powered driven washing machines. They formed the Upton Electric Company to produce the washers. Business took off several years later when retail giant Sears, Roebuck and Co. agreed to market the washers under the name "Allen." The deal provided the young company with a significant customer base.
In 1948, Sears began selling the first washing machine under the Whirlpool brand name and saw sales grow especially in the heavily populated eastern states. Whirpool began expanding its product line in the 1950s with dryers, refrigerators, ranges and air conditioners.
In 1986, Whirlpool acquired the KitchenAid brand of high-end appliances and the Roper brand of value appliances in 1989.
Whirlpool's strong relationship with Sears continues today as it manufactures appliances for sale under the Kenmore name.
Whirlpool acquired Maytag in 2006 for $2.7 billion.
Whirlpool employs 31,000 workers in North America. U.S. employees get 10 paid holidays per year as well as floating holidays depending on location. First-year hires receive 2 weeks paid vacation. Those with 4-14 years of service receive 3 weeks vacation, 14-29 years get 4 weeks off and employees with 29+ years of service enjoy 5 weeks vacation per year.
The company offers a pension plan of 2% of monthly base salary times number of years of service. For those who contribute to the 401k plan, the company will match up to 5% of contributions.
Whirlpool provides employees with a $75 credit each year which can be used for fitness and weight-loss programs. The company also offers 100% tuition reimbursement for approved undergraduate and graduate degrees.