Chief Operating Officer of GE Appliances and 25-year industry veteran, Melanie Cook, announced her retirement today. Cook took on the title of COO in 2017 and has made a lasting, positive effect on the company. GE said in a press release, “Cook has put the building blocks, talent and systems in place at GE Appliances that serve as the foundation for the company’s continued growth.”
“Throughout her 15-year career with General Electric plus the last 10 years with GE Appliances, Melanie has been a friend and mentor to so many employees who appreciate her strategic vision, her counsel and her laughter,” said Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer for GE Appliances in a letter to employees. “Melanie has been a role model and trailblazer throughout her career achieving personal growth goals and taking on challenging assignments that propelled her forward and made her one of the top leaders in the company. Melanie will be greatly missed by the entire GEA team.”
Cook gained experience rather quickly across General Electric, between several international roles and six years on the Corporate Audit Staff. She led several businesses within GE, managing through a turnaround, disposition and integration before coming to GE Appliances in 2011 to lead the cooking business. By the time Cook moved to Louisville, she had lived in 17 different locations with 25 moves across the U.S., Asia and Europe. In 2014, she was asked to lead Sourcing, and in 2016, was asked by Haier to co-lead a global effort to find sourcing synergies. In 2017, she was named to her current role as chief operating officer.
With a reduced schedule, Cook plans to support her aging parents, send her children off to university, focus on her health, and spend time in the great outdoors. In addition to staying active physically, she also plans to volunteer with her favorite nonprofits and participate on corporate boards that work to improve the representation of women in corporate leadership roles.
As Cook heads into retirement, company leaders will now report directly to Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer and Marc Charnas, chief financial officer.