A year after it was originally announced, Ali Group closed on its $4.8 billion all-cash acquisition of Welbilt on Friday, July 29.
“The completion of this transaction is an important milestone in Ali Group’s history and marks the beginning of our next chapter of growth,” said Filippo Berti, Ali Group chairman and CEO. “Welbilt brings to Ali Group a rich heritage, talented team and an expansive portfolio of industry-leading foodservice solutions. With greater scale, an enhanced worldwide footprint and a highly complementary and comprehensive portfolio of premier brands across the entire foodservice value chain, we are well positioned to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities ahead. We are excited to welcome the talented Welbilt team to the Ali Group family and look forward to leveraging our strong global presence as we build on our culture of quality and innovation.”
With Welbilt now a part of Ali Group, the company is seeing at least one leadership change. Kevin Clark was named the new president of Welbilt, replacing Bill Johnson. Clark will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Welbilt’s current portfolio of companies including: Cleveland, Convotherm, Crem, Delfield, Frymaster, Garland, Kolpak, Lincoln, Merco, Merrychef and Multiplex. These product brands are supported by three service brands: an aftermarket parts and service brand, KitchenCare; a fully integrated kitchen systems brand, FitKitchen; and a cloud-based digital platform brand, KitchenConnect.
Clark is a 38-year veteran of the foodservice equipment industry, having started his career with the Wasserstrom Company in 1984. He has held various sales and marketing executive roles with Middleby Marshall, a division of The Middleby Corp., and Wells Bloomfield. Clark also held executive leadership roles at both The Delfield Company and Standex Cooking Solutions Group, a division of Standex International. Clark joined the Ali Group in 2015 as president of Scotsman Ice Systems and in 2019 transitioned to the role of president of ACP, Inc. During his tenure at both companies, he oversaw many new and successful initiatives on both the hot and cold sides of foodservice equipment. “Kevin’s experience in both the hot and cold segments of the foodservice equipment industry make him the ideal choice to take Welbilt into the future,” Berti said.
“I would also like to thank Bill Johnson for his years of service to Welbilt and to the foodservice industry. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” Berti said.
Replacing Clark as president of ACP is David Kalinowski, Kalinowski joined Scotsman in 2006 as a financial analyst and most recently held the role of CFO and vice president of finance. “David has been a tremendous asset to the Scotsman finance team and has proven that he has the skill and drive to assist with the overall operations of the organization,” Berti said.
The company also announced several other leadership changes.
Erik Nommsen assumed the role of CEO for Ali Group North America. He will be responsible for all of the group’s operating companies located on the continent. He first served Ali Group from 2008 to 2014 as president of Champion and returned to Champion in 2016. In 2017, he became president of Ali Group North America – Refrigeration Division and he has served as president of Scotsman Ice Systems since 2019.
Rob August was named vice president for Ali Group. In this role, he will provide guidance to Ali Group and Welbilt brands related to business development and strategic accounts. He will also continue to work with industry buying groups, dealers and strategic accounts in North America. August began his career with Ali Group in 2006 as executive vice president of Champion and most recently served as senior vice president of Ali Group North America.
Finally, Tom Hotard took over as senior vice president for Ali Group. He will be responsible for advising Ali Group and Welbilt on operations and engineering issues and initiatives. Additionally, he will work with group brands globally by providing manufacturing process and engineering support. Hotard had served as president of Electro Freeze since 2012 and joined Ali Group North America as senior vice president in 2021.