A. O. Smith Corporation (A. O. Smith) has appointed Wilfried Brouwer as head of operations in Asia. Brouwer will succeed Michael Cole, who has announced plans to retire in the second quarter as senior vice president of Asia and president of A. O. Smith China Investment Company Ltd. In his new position, Brouwer will be responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s business operations in Asia. In addition, he will oversee business development activities throughout Asia.
The company currently has five wholly owned manufacturing operations and one joint venture in China and a new water heater business in India.
“Wilfried brings nearly 12 years of experience in successfully growing businesses in the Asia Pacific market to this important position,” Paul W. Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation commented.
Brouwer joins the company from Akzo Nobel, coatings. In his most recent position, he served as executive project leader for Ningbo Projects, overseeing a multiple site investment in the coastal city of Ningbo, 150 miles (250 km) south of Shanghai, China.
From 2005 until 2008, Brouwer was vice president of Akzo Nobel’s Decorative Coatings Asia Pacific business unit, headquartered in Shanghai. In that position, he had full profit and loss responsibility for the unit which includes six manufacturing plants throughout Asia. During that time, the business enjoyed organic growth of 25% per year.
From 2002 until 2005, he worked in the company’s Chemicals business unit, first as a sub business unit manager for business unit Polymer Chemicals-Asia Pacific, then as global sub business unit manager for XTP Polymer Chemicals in Shanghai where he had profit and loss responsibility for seven legal entities.
Brouwer began his career with Akzo Nobel as a research associate in 1985. He relocated to Singapore in 1997 as a member of a team involved in setting up joint ventures in the Asia Pacific market.
Brouwer earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in chemistry from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He received a PhD in chemistry from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands in 1984. In 1995, he received an MBA degree from Pace University, New York.