GE Appliances CEO steps down

06/21/2017 11:26 AM

GE Appliances CEO Chip Blankenship has elected to leave his position at the end of the year, according to a press release from the company.

Blankenship served as CEO for the Louisville-based company for six years. He will be succeeded by Kevin Nolan, who is the current vice president and chief technology officer for GEA and its parent company Qingdao Haier.

China-based Qingdao Haier purchased GEA last year. Liang Haishan, chairman of Qingdao Haier’s board of directors, praised Blankenship’s leadership during that acquisition.

“The business’s performance and leadership team under Chip’s direction has exceeded our expectations during our first year together,” Haishan said in a statement. “GEA’s performance following the acquisition in 2016 surpassed initial internal forecasts. The business is well positioned to build on these successes and move into its next phase of growth and development.”

Nolan will be joined in the newly created GEA Executive by Council Melanie Cook, who is currently GEA’s vice president of sourcing, in the role of chief operating officer and Rick Hasselbeck, who is GEA’s current chief marketing officer, in the role of chief commercial officer.

“We are ready to launch the next phase of our strategy and growth,” Blankenship said in a statement. “It is the right time to pass leadership of the business to three strong GE Appliances executives who will bring the expertise needed to accelerate further growth in the strategic areas of technological innovation, operational excellence and building closer connections with customers and consumers.”

The company says that Nolan, Cook and Hasselbeck will begin their new roles immediately and will work with Blankenship to facilitate a seamless transition for employees, customers and partners.

Madeline Janicki

Madeline is a producer for Spectrum News. You can watch her work on Pure Politics, the only statewide nightly show dedicated solely to Kentucky Politics. Madeline is an Indiana native and received her degree in Communications from Indiana University. Her background is as a news producer but her passion for civic engagement and drive to bring voters information on issues that impact their lives brought her to Pure Politics. Here she gets to work on projects like her multi-part digital series on how the national group Teach For America is working in Eastern Kentucky Schools. If you have a story idea, email her at


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