Takeshi Ebisu took over as CEO of Goodman Global Group Inc. on April 17.
Takeshi Ebisu took over as CEO of Goodman Global Group Inc. on April 17.

HOUSTON — A lot has changed since Daikin Industries purchased Goodman Global Group in the fall of 2012. The latest change is at the top as Goodman named Takeshi Ebisu president and CEO, and as a member of its board of directors, effective April 17.

Ebisu replaces Dave Swift, who served as the Goodman CEO for six years. Swift believes the timing is right for the transition.

“I have always thought that a good time to move on is when I had done enough and the company was positioned better than when I arrived. And I do think we are at a much better spot,” he said. “We just concluded an excellent fiscal year, which will serve as a solid foundation for Goodman’s future success. I feel we have made great progress in terms of integrating Goodman into Daikin and, likewise, taking some things from Goodman and bringing them to Daikin.

“It is a good time for someone who knows Daikin better to take Goodman to the next level. That is why I am thrilled Ebisu is taking the helm for me.”

Swift and Ebisu have known each other for four years, as Ebisu was on the Daikin negotiation team when the purchase was made. Since that time, the two have continued to work closely together.

“He is a natural successor for where Goodman needs to go. He knows Daikin very well, but he also knows Goodman very well,” said Swift. “Our customers and the employees of Goodman in the United States want to be further integrated into Daikin. Having Ebisu is the perfect way to do that.”

Ebisu boasts more than 25 years of HVAC experience. He has held operational as well as strategic and planning roles, in and out of North America, and helped form medium-term strategic management plans for Daikin Group worldwide since 2005. Prior to this assignment, Ebisu was executive vice president, director, and member of the board for Daikin.

“For Daikin, the U.S. market is more than one-quarter of the entire company, and becoming the CEO of the largest operation in this market is very exciting,” Ebisu said. “Goodman will be receiving a lot of new products and technology from Daikin going forward. We are expecting Goodman to have the highest growth rate in any of the markets in the whole world. I will be able to lead an excellent team, and I am very excited this opportunity was offered to me. I am determined to make this a big success.”

Ebisu, who is in the process of relocating to Houston, has already begun working on the transition. He is currently having one-on-one meetings with members of the management teams who report to him, and he’s studying the business. Ebisu plans to empower the management team with more authority and responsibility to utilize support from Daikin going forward. He foresees expansion and employment opportunities for the Goodman business in the near future.

“I highly respect the management style that Mr. Swift established. I have learned a lot from him and will be asking him a lot of questions,” Ebisu said.

Ebisu is also thinking globally.

“When we look at our American competitors, they have all been doing business internationally. I expect the same thing for Goodman, too, and that’s not only products, but other parts of the operation, as well. I expect the Goodman team members to be more instrumental in the global arena.”

Swift will continue to support the Daikin Group in an advisory role and will be taking a consulting position outside of the industry.

“It is hard to leave a great company like Goodman. Staying on as an advisor allows me to still have a connection,” Swift said. “This way, I can be of assistance when I am needed.”

According to both Swift and Ebisu, the transition after the purchase has exceeded expectations. Swift mentioned the purchase was not about cost synergies, but rather about ways to complement each other to strive for higher profitable growth. The merger’s progress was bolstered through a 12 percent increase in shipments throughout the entire HVAC industry last year.

In the year and a half since the purchase, the company launched a factory within a factory for VRV in Houston, introduced its first inverter-based condenser unit, expanded the Daikin brand into the residential space, started an on-air advertising campaign, and redefined brand strategies for Daikin, Goodman, and Amana.

“Daikin has gone through a lot of transformation in the past one and a half years,” Ebisu said. “There is a lot that Daikin has been learning from Goodman. Daikin is changing a lot more than we expected. We did not predict this, but it’s really impressive.”

Speaking on behalf of Daikin Industries, Noriyuki Inoue, CEO, said, “Mr. Ebisu will be an outstanding addition to the management team at Goodman. While I surely will miss working with Mr. Swift, I respect his decision. I believe Mr. Ebisu will be a strong leader, building on Mr. Swift’s management philosophy. He’ll contribute to the success of not only Goodman, but the entire Daikin Group globally.”

Publication date: 4/21/2014 

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