Giordano Albertazzi (left) will become Vertiv’s new CEO, succeeding Rob Johnson (right), who is retiring. (Images: Vertiv)
Veteran executive Giordano Albertazzi will become chief executive of data center power and cooling specialist Vertiv on January 1, the company announced this week. Albertazzi succeeds CEO Rob Johnson, who is retiring for health reasons effective December 31.
Albertazzi, who is currently President, Americas, has been appointed to the additional position of Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. He will also join the board on Jan. 1, alongside former Home Depot and HD Supply executive Joseph DeAngelo.
“It’s been a privilege to be CEO of Vertiv and retiring is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made,” Johnson said. “The decision was made easier knowing that Giordano is fully prepared to take the helm of Vertiv. The progress we made in 2022 sets us up for a strong performance in 2023 under his capable leadership. »
“I want to thank Rob for all he has done as CEO for six years, making Vertiv the company it is today and positioning it so well for growth in the years to come,” said Dave Cote, executive chairman of Vertiv. “Rob has worked closely with Giordano over the years, and we expect a smooth transition.
“I am confident that Giordano, with his 24 years of experience leading various aspects of Vertiv’s business, is the right person to drive Vertiv forward,” Cote added. “The work he has done this year to transform the Americas region, although not fully completed, has been impressive. His understanding of the industry and what the business needs to operate effectively for customers, investors and employees has proven invaluable.
Prior to working in the Americas, Mr. Albertazzi successfully transformed the EMEA region from a low-growth, low-margin region to a high-growth, high-margin region, Mr. Cote noted. triple EMEA adjusted operating margin to over 18% over a three-year period ending in 2021.1 “He has a proven track record of execution and I have full confidence in leading Vertiv,” Côté said.
“I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization as we build on a solid foundation and meet the opportunities and challenges ahead,” said Albertazzi. “My focus will be to continue executing the strategy we have in place to improve our operational performance and strengthen our competitive position with the innovative, game-changing offerings that define Vertiv’s market-leading position.”
A public company resolutely focused on the growth of data centers, Vertiv is a rare “pure play” in the industrial equipment sector. That’s important at a time when the world’s biggest investors are targeting digital infrastructure, citing extraordinary demand for capital to fuel the shift to a data economy.
But the company stumbled earlier this year with declining profits after disruptions in the data center supply chain forced Vertiv to pay much higher prices for data center equipment and components. Johnson took responsibility for the shortfall, saying the company had been too slow to raise prices, in some cases for fear of losing sales. The problems were compounded by a forecasting issue in the Americas linked to issues with an ERP system.
But orders and backlogs remained at record highs in the Americas, and Vertiv focused on streamlining its pricing to match rising component costs.
“Despite significant volatility in global markets, I continue to be encouraged by the operational progress being made at Vertiv,” Côté said. “We remain on track to deliver a strong second half of the year, including record sales and unprecedented adjusted operating income in the fourth quarter, even with strong currency headwinds. This quarterly earnings profile is in line with what we announced for the year in February and positions us well for a strong 2023. I am very encouraged by the substantial progress made in the Americas region this year. to do, of course, but it was a game-changer for us.”
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