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Electrical People: Clayton to lead Schneider Electric North America

June 24, 2016
Also Doug Schuster named global leader of Thomas & Betts, Leech named president of Irby and new appointments at Border States.

Schneider Electric  (Andover, Mass.): Annette Clayton is the operation’s new president and chief executive officer, North America Operations. Clayton will continue to serve as the group’s chief supply chain officer leading the Global Supply Chain organization, a position she has held since joining Schneider in 2011. In her dual capacity, she will remain a member of Schneider Electric’s executive committee. She replaces Laurent Vernerey, who has led the North America region for the last three years and concludes a 30-year career at Schneider Electric. Before joining Schneider Electric in 2011, Clayton was vice president of global operations at Dell for five years. She also spent 23 years at General Motors, in various roles, including president of Saturn Corp.

Thomas & Betts/ABB (Memphis, Tenn.): ABB appointed Doug Schuster global leader of Thomas & Betts. He joins ABB from Eaton Corp., where he led its Critical Power Solutions division globally. He will be based in Memphis, ABB’s Electrification Products division Americas headquarters. With more than 30 years’ experience in the electrical engineering industry, Schuster will be charged with growing the electrical installation arm of ABB, both in the US and internationally.

Schuster held a number of senior roles at Eaton over the last 11 years. He started his career in the electrical industry with Westinghouse’s electrical business, which Eaton acquired in 1994. He then performed leadership roles in business strategy and marketing consultancy firms before joining Eaton in 2005. He has a degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University.

Irby/Sonepar (Jackson, Miss.): Following the announcement of Mike Wigton’s retirement, Mike Leech will be taking over the role of president of Irby. He has been an officer and V.P. of Irby for the past 18 years, and has been with the company for 34 years in total.

Border States Electric (BSE)(Fargo, N.D.): BSE hired Jonathan Axtman as digital strategy manager. Axtman will lead BSE’s efforts to better serve customers online. The company also promoted Bruce Penas to market director– Industrial. Originally from Minot, N.D., Axtman is a 1990 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead. Prior to joining BSE, he was the director of digital operations for Microsoft within the Dynamics business group.

Penas will manage the development of BSE’s industrial sales and marketing strategy. He currently serves on several vendor distributor advisory boards and is a network delegate to A-D.