Whirlpool Chief Legal Officer Hewitt Retiring, Successor Selected

After dedicating nearly 25 years of her life to the legal matters of Whirlpool Corporation, the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Kirsten Hewitt has announced plans to retire early in the new year.

The Benton Harbor-based appliance giant made the announcement this morning that Hewitt, who also serves the corporation as a member of the Executive Committee, will retire after nearly 25 years with the company. Her successor, Ava Harter, will join Whirlpool as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, effective December 1, 2020. She, too, will be a member of the Executive Committee and report to Chairman and CEO, Marc Bitzer.

During her time with Whirlpool, Hewitt played a key leadership role in the global growth of the company. Under her leadership, her team enabled some of the Company’s most significant acquisitions and divestitures, including Maytag, Indesit, and Hefei Sanyo brands, as well as Embraco. She also led the global transformation of the Company’s legal team to continue to advance Whirlpool Corporation’s vision and strategy for the next century of innovation to improve life at home.

Marc Bitzer, Chairman and CEO,  of Whirlpool, says, “I am grateful for Kirsten’s 25-year career at Whirlpool Corporation and the indelible mark she made on our organization,” adding, “Kirsten created a lasting impact through the company’s values driven culture. She has cultivated a legacy by exemplifying Our Enduring Values, and we wish her the very best as she begins her next adventure.”

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Ava Harter joins Whirlpool from Owens Corning, where she served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since 2015. In that role, Harter oversaw global legal operations, government affairs and corporate affairs for Owens Corning. Prior to that, she acted as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Taleris America, LLC. Harter also previously held roles of increasing responsibility with General Electric, The Dow Chemical Company, Jones Day and Thompson Hine LLP.

Bitzer says, “We are excited to welcome Ava to Whirlpool Corporation,” and adds, “Ava brings her deep legal experience and extensive global leadership to the company, and we all look forward to working closely with her in the future.”

Harter holds a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law, a Masters in Sociology from the University of Nebraska, and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University, and was an adjunct professor at the Case Western Reserve University Law School.