One of the most respected and effective business leaders in Michigan’s Great Southwest is announcing his retirement.
D. Jeffrey Noel, Global Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Whirlpool Corporation will retire in 2022, to be succeeded by Pamela Klyn, currently Whirlpool Vice President of Global Product Organization.
Noel came to Southwest Michigan almost 30 years ago to lead Cornerstone Alliance, then moved to Whirlpool, becoming its public face in SW Michigan and taking a leadership role in countless projects that advanced the economic and social fabric of Northern Berrien County.
The Harbor Shores project and the Whirlpool North American Headquarters are two of the most visible products of Noel’s leadership, forging partnerships between diverse interests and communities working toward a common goal.
Noel says he has plenty of energy left and will take some time to consider how he can continue to make a difference wherever he is involved.
Here is the formal announcement from Whirlpool Corporation of Klyn’s appointment and Noel’s retirement:
Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) announced today that Pamela Klyn, vice president – Global Product Organization, has been named Senior Vice President, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability effective Jan. 1, 2022. Klyn will join the Executive Leadership team and report directly to Chairman and CEO, Marc Bitzer.
In her new role, Klyn will leverage her extensive product knowledge and global experience to advance the company’s sustainability goals. She will guide all communications for the company and take a leadership role in government relations at a time in which home appliance innovation is increasingly impacted by the regulatory landscape.
Klyn succeeds current Corporate Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, D. Jeffrey Noel, who has announced his long-planned intention to retire in mid-2022 following nearly 18 years at the company. Noel will work with Klyn over the first half of 2022 to ensure a smooth transition.
“Pam has been an outstanding leader at Whirlpool. She brings not only a strong technical understanding of the products and the types of purposeful innovation that exceed our customer’s expectations, but also a commitment to bettering the communities around her,” said Marc Bitzer, chairman and CEO, Whirlpool Corporation. “I’m confident in her ability to bring that unique combination of product knowledge and community dedication to help improve life for all of our stakeholders, whether in the home, within their neighborhoods or in protecting our planet.”
Bitzer continued, “Jeff has been a key leader for Whirlpool, serving as a strong advocate of building a values-based culture in which the people of the organization are committed to improving life at home. He has been involved in leading a multitude of important issues faced by the company and always brought an enthusiastic and personal approach to everything he did.”
As part of the transition, Eleanor Reece has been named Vice President of Global Communications. Reece joined the company in 2019 as Senior Director of Global Communications after serving across various communications and government relations roles in the private sector, including with General Motors, CNN International, and consulting for other industries. “Eleanor has made a strong impact since joining Whirlpool. The role of the global communications team continues to grow and I look forward to her continued contributions as she works alongside Pam to advance our company vision,” said Bitzer.
Klyn was hired into Whirlpool Corporation’s Technical Excellence Program in 1993 after graduating from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. She earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1995. During her time with the company, Klyn has held advancing roles in engineering, product development, global innovation, and marketing. From 2013 to 2015, she lived in Italy and served as the Vice President of Products and Brands for Whirlpool EMEA. She is currently a Vice President in the company’s Global Product Organization. In this role, she is accountable for all of Whirlpool Corporation’s Washer, Dryer, and Commercial Laundry platforms globally, including the company’s long-term strategy to drive profitable growth across all regions.
Klyn is currently a Board member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor and a Trustee for the Whirlpool Foundation. She serves on the Michigan Technological University External Advisory Board for the Dean of Engineering and on the Board of Directors for Patrick Industries.
Noel was appointed to his current role in 2004. During Noel’s tenure, he has been a visible leader in representing the company on multiple issues, from social responsibility to local and regional matters.
Along with leading Communication and Public Affairs for Whirlpool, Noel served as President of the Whirlpool Foundation and led the company’s global partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and the annual sponsorship of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Noel has served as chairman and vice-chairman of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Managing Director of Harbor Shores Resort, Chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, and for 12 years as the vice-chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, among many other organizations.
“I am proud and humbled to have been a part of one of the most respected and responsible companies in the world,” said Noel. “My greatest satisfaction has been the opportunity to work with incredible Whirlpool people whose passion for our consumers and commitment that there is no right way to do a wrong thing guided their every action.”
Noel continued, “My goal has always been to see an even stronger leader succeed me in taking our function to even greater levels of value creation for Whirlpool and Pam is just such a leader. She gets to work with a fantastic team that comprises the Communications and Public Affairs function and global sustainability. The promotion of Eleanor Reece to Vice President of Global Communications will further elevate the team. Together, they will lead the global function in new and better ways. I have several months of work ahead of me and at some point will take the time to reflect and determine what I plan to do in the next chapter of my personal and professional life.“
Klyn added, “Congratulations to Eleanor and I am looking forward to working closely with Jeff over the next several months as part of a smooth transition. I have many things to learn from him and know that he has built a strong foundation within his team that will assist me in advancing the positive understanding of the people and products that have made our company great over the past 110 years.”