Leadership Marks Dynamic Changes

December 22, 2008
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JR Jones

When March 30, 2008 rolled around, things at Rheem Manufacturing Co. changed considerably. The company had already begun reorganization in 2007 and in 2008 it experienced a leadership change. Outgoing President and CEO I. Stewart Farwell assumed the role of special advisor to the company for the remainder of 2008 and JR Jones vacated his role as corporate senior vice president and COO, stepping into Farwell’s position.

“Stu has laid the foundation and the course for Rheem to meet the new challenges facing today’s highly competitive, global HVAC and plumbing manufacturing environment,” pointed out Jones when he assumed leadership. “I look forward to building on the successes he has established and taking Rheem to an even higher level of excellence.”

A mechanical engineer by training, Jones began his career with the Rheem Air Conditioning Division in 1983 as a project manager. Three years later, he embarked on a professional journey that led him back to Rheem in 2002, when he returned as president of the Rheem Air Conditioning Division.

“Since returning to Rheem, JR has profoundly impacted the business by making systemic changes that have led to growth, product innovation, customer and employee satisfaction, and brand recognition,” noted Farwell.

According to the company, the promotion of Jones continues the progressive evolution and organizational restructuring of Rheem. Shortly after his promotion, Jones announced the appointment of his successor, Chris Peel. As corporate senior vice president and COO, Peel has been responsible for the growth of the heating and cooling and the water heating business units. He was tasked to “work towards leveraging synergies among these critical segments to drive greater results and innovation companywide.”

“Chris is well known throughout the industry as an innovative leader based on his ability to develop effective strategies and deliver consistent results in terms of business growth and profitability,” explained Jones. “His thorough understanding of multiple business functions will be critical as we seek to grow our product portfolio and enhance our services, partnerships, and processes.”

Jones and Peel were not the only new appointments made in 2008. Peter Reynolds was appointed as vice president and general manager of the water heating division shortly before Jones was promoted.

Leading the significant evolution at Rheem, JR Jones, president and CEO of Rheem Manufacturing Co., has set his sights on striving for growth.

“Based on his successful tenure at Rheem, visionary skills, and extensive industry knowledge, Peter will provide structural consistency between our divisions and position us for increased synergy in the product development area,” noted Jones.

Later in July of the same year, Raypak Inc., one of Rheem’s brands, strengthened its heat pump portfolio with the acquisition of certain manufacturing assets of Pool Fact Industries LLC. In December, Michael Sentovich, was named vice president and general manager of the recently expanded Raypak.

According to Peel, this appointment made Sentovich responsible for leveraging the technological strengths of Raypak, Rheem Water Heating, and Rheem Heating & Cooling, which includes an aggressive product development plan and overall business expansion.

Hallmarked by his striving for growth, Jones continues to lead Rheem through familiar and uncharted waters. Spending time overseas and within the continental United States, he has set his sights on strengthening Rheem’s management team, re-purposing and adding new facilities, expanding the company’s product portfolio, strengthening its brands, and leveraging its technical resources.

Sidebar: 2008 HVACR Newsmaker

Name: JR Jones
Title: President and CEO
Company: Rheem Manufacturing Co.
Location: Atlanta
Notable Quote: “I look forward to building on the successes Stewart Farwell has established and taking Rheem to an even higher level of excellence.”

Publication date: 12/22/2008

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