Veteran executive Giordano Albertazzi will become the Chief Executive Officer of data center power and cooling specialist Vertiv on Jan. 1, the company said this week. Albertazzi succeeds CEO Rob Johnson who is retiring for health reasons effective December 31.
Albertazzi who is currently President, Americas, has been appointed into the additional role of Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. He will also joining the Board of Directors on Jan. 1, along with former Home Depot and HD Supply executive Joseph DeAngelo.
“It’s been a privilege serving as CEO of Vertiv and retiring is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made,” said Johnson. “The decision was made easier though, knowing that Giordano is fully prepared to take the helm at Vertiv. The progress we have made in 2022 sets us up for a strong performance in 2023 under his capable leadership.”
“I want to thank Rob for all he has done as CEO for six years, growing Vertiv into the company it is today, and positioning it so well for growth in the years to come,” said Dave Cote, Executive Chairman at Vertiv. “Rob has worked closely with Giordano over the years, and we expect a seamless transition.
“I have no doubt Giordano, with his 24 years of experience leading various aspects of Vertiv’s business, is the right person to drive Vertiv forward,” Cote added. “The work he has done this year to transform the Americas region, while not fully completed, has been impressive. His understanding of the industry and what the business needs to operate effectively for customers, investors and employees has proven invaluable.”
Prior to his work in the Americas, Albertazzi successfully transformed EMEA from a low growth and low margin region to a high growth and high margin region, Cote noted. tripling the adjusted operating margin of EMEA to over 18% in a three-year period ending in 2021.1 “He has a proven track record of execution and has my full confidence to lead Vertiv,” said Cote.
“I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead this outstanding organization as we build on a strong foundation and tackle the opportunities and challenges ahead,” said Albertazzi. “My focus will be on continuing to execute on the strategy we have in place to improve our operational performance and strengthen our competitive position with the game-changing innovative offerings that define Vertiv’s market leadership position.”
As a public company squarely focused on the growth of data centers, Vertiv is a rare “pure play” in the industrial equipment sector. That’s significant at a time when the world’s largest investors are targeting digital infrastructure, citing extraordinary demand for capital to fuel the shift to a data economy.
But the company stumbled earlier this year with an earnings setback after disruptions in the data center supply chain forced Vertiv to pay much higher prices for data center equipment and components. Johnson took responsibility to the earnings miss, saying the company had been too slow to raise prices, in some cases out of concern that it might lose sales. The issues were aggravated by a forecasting issue in the Americas related to problems with an ERP system.
But orders and backlogs remained at record highs in the Americas, and Vertiv focused on rationalizing its pricing to align with rising component costs.
“Despite substantial volatility in global markets, I continue to be encouraged by the operating progress being made at Vertiv,” said Cote. “We remain on track to deliver a strong second half of the year including an expected all-time record high sales and adjusted operating profit in fourth quarter, even with the strong foreign exchange headwinds. This quarterly earnings profile is consistent with what we outlined for the year back in February and positions us well for delivering a strong 2023. I am very encouraged by the substantial progress achieved in the Americas region this year. There is still work to do, of course, but this has been a game changer for us.”