Logitech International SA (LOGN) said Bracken P. Darrell will succeed Guerrino De Luca as chief executive officer next year as the world’s biggest maker of computer mice seeks to revamp its products.
Darrell, 49, is joining the company from Whirlpool Corp. (WHR), where he has been president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Morges, Switzerland-based Logitech said in a statement today.
The proliferation of tablet computers that aren’t controlled by mice has eroded Logitech’s traditional desktop and notebook business. The company hasn’t been able to exceed its peak annual sales set in 2008, which led De Luca to take the CEO position on an interim basis in July, replacing Gerald Quindlen. De Luca previously held the role for 10 years between 1998 and 2008, a period when revenue rose each year.
Darrell “brings a solid experience with various consumer oriented companies,” Michael Foeth, an analyst at Bank Vontobel wrote in a note to investors. “He will need to build a track record with Logitech to gain investor confidence.”
The executive will join the company on April 9 and initially oversee research and development, sales and marketing, manufacturing, supply chain, information technology, human resources and legal functions, reporting to De Luca.
Before joining Whirlpool in 2008, Darrell was with Procter & Gamble Co. for 12 years, most recently as president of the Braun business. He has also worked for General Electric Co. and PepsiCo Inc.
In January, Logitech cut full-year forecasts for the third time. It reduced its sales forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31 to about $2.3 billion, with operating income predicted at about $60 million.
“Logitech is still in the process of reshaping its product portfolio and we see no major trigger until the FY13 guidance in April and the back-to-school business in August,” Foeth said.
Logitech stock, which has declined 57 percent in the past year, dropped 0.4 percent to 7.19 Swiss francs as of 10:48 a.m. in Zurich trading.
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