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Maytag Chief Resigns Over Conflicting Visions

November 10, 2000|Reuters

Maytag Corp. said Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Ward had resigned because of a difference of opinion with the board about the company's strategic outlook and direction. "Mr. Ward said that under the circumstances, it was in both his and the company's interests that he tender his resignation," said the company, which makes refrigerators, washing machines and Hoover vacuum cleaners. Maytag did not say what strategic differences were involved. Analysts called the resignation surprising given that Ward, who joined the company in 1996 from PepsiCo Inc., had held the top office for just 14 months and was in the midst of implementing a multiyear strategy focused on new product innovation and leveraging of premium brands. As president of Maytag's major appliances division before being named president and chief operating officer of the corporation in 1998, Ward is considered the architect of the company's innovation strategy. The company appointed Leonard Hadley as interim president and chief executive. Hadley was Maytag's chairman and chief executive for seven years before retiring in August 1999 after a 40-year career with the company. Shares of Newton, Iowa-based Maytag, which has long been considered a takeover target, fell 81 cents to close at $28.19 on the Big Board.

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