Graco Inc. announced management changes Thursday to reflect the company's growth in South and Central America.
The Minneapolis-based maker of pumps and spray equipment said Bernard Moreau will relocate to South America to become the company's first vice president and general manager for South and Central America. Moreau serves as director of sales and marketing for Graco's industrial products and applied fluid technologies divisions in Europe.
Emerging markets in South and Central America represent relatively untapped opportunities for Graco, which had sales last year of $895.3 million. About $500 million, or 56 percent, of Graco's total sales come from international markets, with $208 million from the Asia-Pacific region and $211 million from Europe.
Analysts expect Graco to exceed $1 billion in sales for the first time in 2012.
Graco also announced that Mark Eberlein, business development director for the industrial products division, will become vice president and general manager for the process division, as the company seeks to increase sales of products that move fluids for the food and beverage, chemical, water treatment and oil industries.
"Expanding our capabilities on behalf of process business customers and increasing sales in emerging markets are key growth drivers for Graco," Pat McHale, president and chief executive, said in a statement.
In related management moves, the company announced the retirement of Simon Paulis, Graco's vice president and general manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Paulis will be succeeded by Jeffrey Johnson, vice president and general manager of the Asia-Pacific region. Johnson will move from Shanghai to Graco's European headquarters in Belgium.
Peter O'Shea, director of sales and marketing for Graco's industrial products business in Asia-Pacific, will succeed Johnson as vice president and general manager of the Asia-Pacific region.
Graco has about 2,300 employees worldwide, with three manufacturing facilities in Minnesota -- Minneapolis, Anoka and Rogers -- one in Sioux Falls, S.D., another in Canton, Ohio, and additional facilities in Belgium and China.
Patrick Kennedy 612-673-7926