John Reutter, newly named vice president of finance at Uponor North America, is working to incorporate financial metrics into strategy and operations at the Apple Valley-based water and energy solutions provider.
Reutter leads finance-related teams at Uponor North America. The company manufactures PEX piping and provides commercial and residential plumbing, fire safety, heating and cooling and other systems. Uponor’s global headquarters is based in Finland.
“Where Ecolab has been phenomenal is at having finance be truly a part of the business operations,” Reutter said. “That’s something we can do here, partnering with the commercial side of the organization at Uponor to appropriately make sure we’re monetizing our value and our offerings.”
That particularly applies to Phyn, the intelligent water company Uponor launched with Belkin International in a 2016 joint venture, Reutter said.
Reutter most recently was vice president of finance for Ecolab’s global health care business.
He played a key role in Ecolab’s integration of global water leader Nalco Inc. and has guided financial aspects of multimillion-dollar projects. Reutter also has worked at Deloitte Consulting in Minneapolis, PricewaterhouseCoopers in Rosemont, Ill., as well as Deloitte & Touche and the Leo Burnett Co. in Chicago.
Q: What appealed to you about this opportunity?
A: When I came to Ecolab it was a $3-$4 billion company. When I left it was $14 billion. You become vice president of a global business and you’re doing more executive reporting and management than you are driving the business. I’m excited to get back to the size of business where I could have more of an impact.
Q: What does your consulting experience add to your financial background?
A: It allows for good dialogue when you’re batting around strategic opportunities and decisions. Frankly most of your commercial-leadership people appreciate the fact that a finance guy is not coming in there with a red pen every time, that they’re trying to understand the business and understand the strategy behind it.
Q: How will your international experience come into play in your new role?
A: [Ecolab’s] health care business had a major acquisition in France so I got a nice flavor of managing a large organization from a distance. As Uponor North American gets bigger, it’s important that the leadership team here has folks that can relate and manage from a distance and understand what a foreign parent would be looking for.