Petratis Named President/COO of Schneider Electric U.S. Business

Newly Created Post Within $2.7 Billion North American Division

Dec 13, 2002, 00:00 ET from Schneider Electric

    PALATINE, Ill., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- David D. Petratis, 45, has been
 appointed to the newly created post of president and chief operating officer
 for the U.S. business of Schneider Electric, announced Chris C. Richardson,
 president and chief executive officer of the company's North American
     (Photo: )
     Petratis will be responsible for directing the U.S. business toward goals
 supporting the Schneider Electric NEW2004 Program objectives, including
 manufacturing excellence, material productivity, sales productivity,
 price/market share and cost management.
     The new position will more closely align the organization of the North
 American Division with similar Schneider Electric Europe and International
 Division organizations.  Petratis will coordinate the North American
 Division's U.S. business activities with country managers in Canada and
 Mexico.  U.S. manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, purchasing, quality,
 engineering, sales and marketing will now report directly to Petratis.
           U.S. Businesses Drive $2.7 Billion in North American Sales
     In the U.S., Schneider Electric has 11,000 employees and accounts for the
 greatest share of $2.7 billion in annual sales by the company's North American
 Division.  Its flagship SQUARE D brand in the U.S. is a market leading brand
 of electrical distribution and industrial control products, systems and
 services.  Schneider Electric, headquartered in Paris, is a global electrical
 industry leader with 71,000 employees and operations in 130 countries.  The
 brands of Schneider Electric meet the needs of customers in the residential,
 buildings, industry, and energy and infrastructure markets.
     "Dave has a great deal of experience within the electrical industry and
 Schneider Electric, and we welcome his return from a business partially owned
 by Schneider Electric, MGE Americas, where he has been president since 1994,"
 Richardson said.
     Born and raised in Iowa, Petratis joined the SQUARE D Lincoln, Nebraska,
 circuit breaker manufacturing facility in 1981 after receiving a B.A. degree
 in industrial management that year from Northern Iowa University in Cedar
                             Youngest Plant Manager
     In 1986 he was named the youngest plant manager in the company's history
 of its Raleigh, N.C. facility.  From 1989 to 1993 he managed the SQUARE D
 plant in Columbia, South Carolina, which was listed as one of America's 25
 best plants by Industry Week magazine and was honored as South Carolina's
 manufacturer of the year in 1991.
     In 1993, following the 1991 merger of Square D Company with Schneider
 Electric, Petratis became vice president of operations for EPE Technologies, a
 manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies in Costa Mesa, California,
 partly owned by Schneider Electric.  In 1994, Petratis was named president and
 two years later was a part of the leveraged buyout of EPE by Management and
 FinancialPartners, resulting in the creation of MGE UPS SYSTEMS.  He has been
 president of MGE Americas since its inception in 1996.  Sales grew from
 $50 million annually in 1993 to $286 million in 2001.
     Petratis was a 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient
 and is a member of the Costa Mesa, California Chamber of Commerce Hall of
     The recipient of an M.B.A. degree in 1998 from Pepperdine University,
 Malibu, California, he serves on the boards of directors of the University of
 California Irvine Graduate School of Management, the California State
 (Fullerton) Quality Advisory Board and Project Independence, a community
 agency in Costa Mesa, California for the developmentally disabled.
     Headquartered in Palatine, Ill., the North American Division of Schneider
 Electric had sales of $2.7 billion in 2001. The North American Division is one
 of three geographic divisions of Schneider Electric, headquartered in Paris,
 France, and markets the brands of Schneider Electric in the United States,
 Canada and Mexico. In the U.S., it is best known by its flagship SQUARE D
 brand, a market-leading brand of electrical distribution, industrial control
 and automation products, systems and services. Schneider Electric is a global
 electrical industry leader with 2001 sales of approximately $8.7 billion.
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SOURCE Schneider Electric