Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

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March 12, 2019

On March 1 Eaton announced intentions to spin off its lighting business, creating an independent, publicly traded company. The transition is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. 

Effective April 1, Curt Hutchins, Group President of Eaton's US$2.7B Hydraulics Group, will lead the spin-off. He will work with Eaton’s Lighting leadership team and corporate team to set up the new company. Curt has held a number of leadership roles in a variety of diverse businesses and industries during his career. Prior to leading Eaton's $2.7B Hydraulics Group, he was president of Eaton's Asia Pacific region. 

Included in the spin-off are Eaton’s lighting business, its global airport lighting business, and Mains lighting and intrusion systems businesses that operate primarily in Europe and the Middle East. The Crouse-Hinds industrial lighting business and Life Safety Division’s emergency lighting product lines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will remain with Eaton. 

Eaton says the spin-off will better position the lighting business to respond to evolving industry and customer needs, enable lighting to compete more effectively across its diverse end-markets, and enhance Eaton’s ability to focus investments in its core businesses. 

President Kraig Kasler told Edison Report that “this will be a US$1.7 billion company and we will have much more flexibility once we are independent.” 

Eaton's Lighting Division delivers indoor and outdoor lighting and controls solutions serving customers in the commercial, industrial, retail, institutional, residential, utility and other markets.

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 Young Leaders: Taylor Gerrie

Taylor GerrieOn a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a Q&A. It’s a way of recognizing industry movers and shakers, and helping our readers get to know them better. 

Recently we launched an initiative with Electro-Federation Canada's Young Professionals Network to include profiles of up-and-coming leaders. We provided the list of questions below to Taylor Gerrie, Automation Account Specialist at Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd. in Burlington, Ontario. Here are Taylor’s responses.

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Susan Uthayakumar, President of Schneider Electric Canada: Driving Success

Susan UthayakumarBy Owen Hurst

First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing with a friend than conducting an interview with the Canadian president of one of the world’s largest electrical manufacturers. Of course, she exudes the confidence and knowledge her position demands, but equally identifiable are an open and engaging nature.

In a recent sit-down, we learned a little about Susan’s history and what drives her to succeed.

To begin, Susan was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada at a young age. She went to high school in Canada and attended the University of Waterloo where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Upon completing university Susan began her working career with Deloitte, which she describes as a great starting point as she was surrounded by highly driven and intelligent individuals. She welcomed being in a position that was demanding and helped nurture a strong work ethic. Her work with Deloitte also instilled a great interest in acquisitions, which would serve her well as her career unfolded.

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CEW 3 Perspective 400

We often learn how to look forward by first looking back, or at the very least we realize that despite our best efforts we have not truly advanced quite so much as we had thought. Sure, technology is rapidly advancing. That’s beyond question. But what about our approach to selling it? Have we changed that much in the last 20, 40, 60 years? Inevitably there have been advances and changes in marketing, the Internet causing the biggest shift, but many of the concerns and directives that have driven the distribution and marketing of industrial electrical products remain, or at least planted the roots of the concerns of manufacturers and distributors today. 

To gain perspective of the perceptions and directions of electrical product distribution in 1960, we turn to Edwin H. Lewis. In 1960 Lewis published “The Distribution of Industrial Electrical Products” in the Journal of Marketing.

To fully define electrical product distribution in 1960, Lewis broke his study into several categories. We will follow his direction and provide his insights on the industry in each of the categories he identified.

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