Friday, November 7, 2008

Rinnai Appoints General Manager of Rinnai America Operations

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rinnai Corporation, the world’s largest gas appliance manufacturer and leading tankless water heater manufacturer, has announced the appointment of Phil Weeks as general manager of its North American operations, effective October 13. In this newly created position, Weeks will oversee the company’s sales, marketing and operations functions in the United States and Canada.

“Phil was the driving force behind the Jacuzzi brand becoming one of the most recognized in its category,” said Rinnai America President Yuzo Yoshida. “His deep experience in strategy, operations and sales, as well as his familiarity with our distribution channels, will be invaluable to us. We are confident that under his leadership, Rinnai will transform the way America heats water.”

Weeks demonstrated his ability to build a category-leading business with outstanding brand awareness during his 27-year career at Jacuzzi Whirlpooth Bath, the largest manufacturer of whirlpool baths in North America. Weeks joined Jacuzzi in 1975 as a district sales representative and rose through the sales management ranks to become vice president of sales and marketing and later president. In his capacity as president, Weeks was instrumental in establishing Jacuzzi as the exclusive whirlpool bath brand carried by major home improvement retailers, which led to the doubling of Jacuzzi’s sales over a three-year period. In addition, Weeks expanded the company’s manufacturing operations and implemented processes that increased operating efficiencies and overall profitability.

In his role as vice president of sales and marketing, Weeks expanded the company’s distribution channels beyond wholesale and created a multi-channel business strategy that garnered Jacuzzi more than 40 percent market share. He also developed and implemented strategies for expansion into new markets including Mexico and Asia.

Weeks left Jacuzzi in 2003 and created Zenith Enterprise where, with Clarke Products, he developed private label products for major wholesale plumbing companies. In 2005, Weeks was recruited back to his post as president of Jacuzzi and returned the company to profitability after three years of operating losses and declining margins.

“Rinnai has a winning combination of outstanding products, a highly driven team and excellent channels to market,” said Weeks. “I'm excited to be part of the next chapter in this company’s success story.”

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