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Eaton names Wathen senior vice president of Cutler-Hammer business; Becherer to retire
David M. Wathen, an executive with AlliedSignal, Inc., has been named Senior Vice President of Eaton Corporation's Cutler-Hammer business. He replaces Joseph L. Becherer who retires on October 31 after 33 years service.
Wathen, who joined AlliedSignal in 1996 as president of the company's friction materials operations in Troy, Michigan, will now head Eaton's $2 billion industrial control product and power distribution equipment business.
Wathen, 44, began his career with General Electric in 1976 as a manufacturing engineer. He held a variety of managerial positions with GE, including general manager of the company's industrial motor division, until leaving to join Emerson Electric Company in 1989. He was appointed president of Emerson's U. S. Electric Motor Division in 1993 and was president, U. S. Electric Motor Division and Control prior to joining AlliedSignal.
Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton President and Chief Operating Officer said, "Dave is an impressive leader with an enthusiastic leadership style, a strong sense of teamwork, and first-hand knowledge of the Cutler-Hammer distributor network. With his experience, I know he will get off to a great start and be an excellent addition to the Eaton management team."
A graduate of Purdue University with a mechanical engineering degree, and from St. Francis College with an MBA, Wathen will be based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Becherer, 55, joined Eaton when the company acquired the Westinghouse Distribution and Control Business Unit (DCBU) in 1994. He was elected Senior Vice President-Cutler-Hammer in 1995. Becherer joined Westinghouse in 1964 as a sales engineer, and over the next 25 years he held a series of sales, marketing, plant management and general management assignments. He was president of DCBU at the time Eaton acquired it.
Regarding Becherer, Cutler said, "One of the great assets which Eaton acquired with our purchase of DCBU was Joe Becherer. First as our vice president of operations, and more recently in his capacity as Senior Vice President-Cutler-Hammer, Joe provided the strong leadership necessary to successfully integrate DCBU and create the strong Cutler-Hammer franchise which has posted record sales and profitability for the first nine months of this year. We will miss Joe's thoughtful and dedicated leadership. He has led our Cutler-Hammer operation to achieve the goals we set forth as part of the largest acquisition in Eaton's history."
Serving industrial, automotive, construction and commercial markets, Eaton's Cutler-Hammer business is one of the world's leading suppliers of power distribution equipment, electrical control products and industrial automation equipment. Power distribution equipment includes circuit breakers, substations, switchgear, panelboards, load centers, transformers and safety switches. Control and automation equipment includes contactors and motor starters, variable speed drives, photoelectric and proximity sensors, PanelMate video control panels, microprocessor-based control and protection devices, and pushbuttons and switches.
Eaton Corporation is a global manufacturer of highly engineered products which serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial and semiconductor markets. Principal products include electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck transmissions and axles, engine components, hydraulic products, ion implanters and a wide variety of controls. Headquartered in Cleveland, the company has 55,000 employees and 155 manufacturing sites in 26 countries around the world. Sales for 1996 were $7 billion.