Leading Whirlpool Corporation: Jack Sparks

The 1980s were marred by the perception of an America in decline, but while other large companies were breaking up, new CEO Jack Sparks sought to lay the groundwork for Whirlpool’s prosperous future. Known for being a bold strategist, Sparks set his sights on greater overseas expansion and casting a wider net over a growing consumer base. To sustain this iteration of Whirlpool, Sparks instilled a new focus on leadership development, strategic planning and branding strategy. In 1986, he famously saw an opportunity to target an upscale clientele by acquiring the prestigious KitchenAid brand.