by Steven Feldman
When 2011 gives way to 2012, Mohawk Industries will have two new leaders in place. Brian Carson becomes president of the Mohawk Flooring Business Unit, while John Turner Jr. will carry out the same role for the Dal-Tile Business Unit. Both were promoted to COO of their respective divisions in early 2011.
Carson, who joined Mohawk in 2006 as president of Hard Surfaces after a 16-year career at Armstrong, succeeds Frank Peters, who has held the title of Mohawk Flooring president since 2008. Turner, meanwhile, takes over for Harold Turk, who has been with Dal-Tile since 1976, serving as its president for the past five years. Both Peters and Turk will continue with Mohawk by leading strategic development activities in their respective segments.
Carson told FCNews the focus, both short term and long term, is all about the company’s residential and commercial customers. “In this first year, I really want to spend even more time talking to our customers and getting to know their needs, as well as work with our sales leadership teams to make sure our sales force is consistently meeting the customers’ needs,” he said. “Also, there are some new business opportunities I want to explore in 2012, and we will continue to press forward in terms of innovation in our product line.”
Carson added that developing industry-changing innovation that outpaces the competition is also a long-term objective. “We will continue to innovate in terms of products, merchandising and marketing, and the better we deliver on these things the better margins we can provide to our customers. We want to help our customers earn business, and when they’re successful we will be, too.”
Meantime, Turner, who joined Dal-Tile in 1990, told FCNews that Dal-Tile will look to aggressively grow its business in 2012 by investing in new capacity and products. “By doing this, we are addressing parts of the market where we either have low share or have not focused previously. We will drive more value to our customers with unique offerings of both product and service. We will continue our leadership position in new decorating technology and create differentiation with our capability.”
Aside from the U.S., Turner said the company will be growing its position in Mexico dramatically. It begins with the construction of a new ceramic floor and wall tile plant in Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico, which is now under way. “This is a significant investment for us that will allow us to further penetrate the Mexican domestic market. This will also free up capacity for the U.S. market at our Monterrey, Mexico, floor tile facility, some of which will be converted to porcelain.”
But Turner’s vision for Dal-Tile goes beyond just ceramic and porcelain. In fact, he wants the company to be the largest wholesale stone supplier in the U.S. and Canada. “Our tile business will grow in all areas, but in particular those parts of the business where we either do not compete today or have not focused aggressively in the past.” Longer term, Turner said Dal-Tile will be a truly international company, selling and manufacturing tile in the world’s major ceramic markets. Closer to home, he is looking to double market share in Canada and Mexico.
“Brian and J.T. are industry veterans with the institutional knowledge, business acumen and innovative creativity to further the success of our businesses,” said Jeff Lorberbaum, chairman and CEO of Mohawk Industries.
Peters, Turk key components
Both Peters and Turk will still play significant roles going forward. Carson noted that Peters’ technical knowledge and market knowledge is not easily replaced. “Frank will continue to help us cultivate new business opportunities, innovations and products. It establishes continuity for the company, and ultimately, it will ensure we are making the best strategic investments of our time and resources.”
Mohawk will also capitalize on Turk’s 35-plus years with the company. “Harold has a tremendous amount of experience that we will continue to tap into,” Turner said. “This extends to new initiatives that we will be exploring both domestically and internationally.”