Viking News and EXCLUSIVES

Viking News and EXCLUSIVES

As has been reported.  Viking President Fred Carl is resigning his position, effective immediately.  He will remain for a short while as consultant to smooth the transition.  As well, at least 140 Viking employees are being layed off.  We will provide analysis later

1:  Mr. Carl’s letter to the Viking Family and the Viking Distributor network. (see below).

2:  Mr. Carl’s abbreviated statement:  Exclusive (bottom)
1:  Fred Carl’s Letter to Distribution

From: Fred Carl
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2013 9:38 AM
Subject: goodbye

Well, I thought I could do it but I couldn’t.  It’s time for me to move on.  Please see below email.

I will miss seeing and doing business with all of you.  I want to thank you for all of your support over the years as I built Viking, beginning with our first shipments in January of 1987.  We’ve built a strong brand together and it’s my hope that Viking will continue to be the iconic brand that it has become for many years to come.

I hope to see you from time to time and wish you all the best.

Take care,



From: Fred Carl
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 7:16 PM
To: #Viking Enterprise Wide
Subject: Retirement

Dear fellow members of the Viking family:

In my company-wide email to you on December 31st, I said that at some point in the not too distant future it would be time for me to ride off into the sunset.  I felt that the time for me to fade away would be months down the road, maybe even a couple of years.  But over the past few weeks I’ve been doing a whole lot of soul searching to try and get my mind and my heart in the right place about what I should do.  After much thought, reflection, prayer and gut wrenching self-assessment, I have made the incredibly difficult decision that the time for me to move on is now.  I have come to this conclusion for several reasons.

I will be 65 in two weeks, which is hard for me to believe.  I have no idea where the time has gone but find myself at the twilight of my years without having done a lot of the things that I want to do before I die.  There are a lot of places I want to go and there’s a lot that I want to accomplish and I don’t want time to run out before I’m able to pursue these things.  I must also say that Liston’s sudden death two years ago this month at the age of 64 and less than a year before when he had planned to retire had a major impact on my thought process.  I’m not going to live forever and that has finally hit me loud and clear.

There’s also new ownership of Viking now.  The company is owned by Middleby now, not by me and my Stephens partners, and this is the beginning of a new era at Viking.  It occurred to me that the Founder hanging around would just not be a good idea and that I needed to get out of the way and turn the reins over to the new regime and move on.  I think it’s best for me to step aside and let Middleby and the executive management team takeover and carry out what Middleby feels is the best strategic direction for the long-term growth and wellbeing of the company.

My family was also a major consideration, of course.  They haven’t seen enough of me over the past 25 years or so, unfortunately.  I want to spend more time with Margaret and with my son, Chris, and I know that the only way I’ll be able to do that is to make a clean break and make time for them.  That’s one of the most important factors in my making this extremely important decision.

And finally, the fact is that I’m just worn out.  As I said in my most recent company-wide emails and as I know you wholeheartedly agree, these last four years have been extraordinarily challenging and difficult.  Not to whine or sound like a wimp, but they took a whole lot out of me and have taken their toll and I just don’t have it anymore like I once did.  If I were 45 or even 55, I’d still be full of fire and brimstone and ready to hit it hot and heavy now that the economy is turning around.  But I’m not 45 or 55 and I must recognize and accept that and listen to my heart and my mind….and my body…..when they tell me that it’s time to slow down.

One thing that has given me comfort in making this decision is the high degree of confidence I have that Viking will remain in Greenwood and, despite the fact that some tough decisions are having to be made, that Viking is going to once again prosper under Middleby’s ownership. Middleby has its own way of doing things and I respect that and understand that they want to reset the company in a way that will maximize its future performance.  I have every confidence that Viking will remain a healthy company and will continue to be a major factor in Greenwood going forward, which was one of our most important considerations in our selling to Middleby.

Although I am retiring from Viking as President and CEO, I will be staying on in a consulting capacity for a short while to assist Selim Bassoul and Tim FitzGerald, CEO and CFO of Middleby, with this transitionI honestly feel that Viking will be stronger than ever moving forward and will soon be blowing and going again like we did in our rock and roll years of the past.  I truly believe that and hope that everyone will bear with Middleby and help Viking in every way possible as it is repositioned for future growth and prosperity.

I’m also comforted knowing that I’m leaving Viking’s day-to-day management in good hands.  The executive management team, consisting of Brian Waldrop, Ron Ussery, Steve Ingham and Jim Shad, will now be in charge and I know they’ll do a great job.  They are highly competent, heavily experienced, seasoned executives with extensive knowledge of the company and I know they will have in mind only what’s in the best interest of Viking and its employees and customers in every decision that they make.  Viking will be in good hands under their management.

I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your contributions to making Viking what it is today and for all that you have done for me to help build this company.  Your hard work, dedication and loyalty will never be forgotten and your friendship will always be appreciated and cherished.  I wish you all the very best and will be watching from the sidelines to see Viking continue to be the great company that you have h
elped it become.  Take care.



2:  Exclusive Statement from Fred Carl 2/3/13

“I’ve been my own boss for 35 plus years and the transition was more difficult than I expected.  The big public company world just isn’t for me.”



22 Responses to Viking News and EXCLUSIVES

  1. I hope all goes well with the folks at Viking, I dearly love the products and the facility was state of the art when I was last there in 2003. Good Luck to all of you at Viking.

  2. Just heard that Viking will stop making all 60″ ranges and very limited colors will be available. Looks like the revolution has begun. Also hearing that distribution is asking dealers to take off Viking Refrigeration and replace it with FHABIA. Not sure this make sense for Viking but I guess at this point they are just happy to be in a store.

    • I have seen Fhiaba popping up in our market area but am being told by our distributor that Middleby is still dedicated to the Viking refrigeration line up. Obviously time will tell on how this works itself out but we have not had any indication from our distributor that they want the Fhiaba displayed instead of the Viking.

  3. My guess is that someone has come in and reviewed the sales of some products and perhaps determined that some models don’t sell well and realistically cost more to make , stock and service then need be.Therefore slower moving product will be thinned from the ranks.I wish them nothing but success and hope they get back on their game. It will reflect well on an industry that has been hit hard.

  4. Stallion lets just call him out let’s state our yrs in the industry. I have been in it for 27 yrs that doesn’t include my dad retiring after 60 yrs so its in my blood.


      • High End Fred. Do you really think your classless comments are needed ? Do you understand the meaning of respect and contribution ? I would be interested in knowing what you have done that gives you the right to criticize anyone or anything. You see telling what you have done would be a credible response , not just hiding behind a keyboard. Many of us have an idea who each other is and I can tell you these folks have much credibility to me. What have you done except just be critical. Being critical in the correct context is ok if you justify the behavior with facts.I doubt you have the steam to back that up excerpt keyboard muscle with only a hustle but really no muscle.

  5. Kudos to you High End. Too long has this site been the personal bulletin board for medical updates and personal agendas. It is people like you with some insight into the industry that will keep this site alive. AG should do his whining on an AARP site or some place similar. He criticizes you for being critical, but this guy is negativity personified. How about some new blood out there and let this guy fulfill his promise some months ago to “Just go away.” Keep up the good work HEF and let AG try to convince himself he still has some relevance.

    • Bermuda Bob….How are you coming along ? Is your knee getting better ? Have you kept the weight off ? Is your business doing well ? I am hopeful that you can get back to normal soon health wise. I also want to see you do we’ll job wise. Cohiba is the retirement doing ? I am sure you stay fairly busy. You certainly earned a comfortable retirement. I am doing eel myself. Looks like I will work another 8-10 years. Our businesses are doing well and we have developed several new products that fits in our distribution network perfectly. Our wholesales are looking forward to these new products.I hope the economy continues to improve and we can level off debt wise. BB. I have lost 55lbs. I soon will be at the weight I was while playing football in college. Hope all is well guys.

      • Well highend has no class and M25 is a fool. Let me tell you guys something I would take a challenge to pick 2 people from this site form my team and 2 for you and I can guarantee you we would smoke you M25. I do not and have not talked politics on this site so keep me the hell out of it. As far as this industry goes tell us PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE what have you contributed to it that makes you an expert .We wait for you answer oh great one.

        • M25
          What some of these senile old creatures do not realize is we are still actively working in the industry and are not going to post our resume on here. They are living in the past and need to go out to pasture…..
          How foolish I will pick 2 and you will pick 2 and we can compete at what you moron a spelling bee? This is a sight to post news and information about the industry not to archive your personal history that obviously you are still holding onto.
          Beat it….or add something to the site not just what used to be and how old you are…
          FYI-confirmed Viking out of the 60″ range business, many more changes coming from the new Viking ownership, this is just the start

          • Wow !, So VIking is going to make some changes huh? What a scoop Freddie. The janitor at VIking knew that one. You think we live in the past ? I wonder what type of legacy you will leave when hang it up or get hanged. Sorry Freddie but I am still operating well in the business world and I respect the older guys who have retired and did very well. Perhaps you should too.

  6. AS

    Hanged that is really funny LOL…..FYI thats laughing out loud since you probably didn’t know what that means. It is a term people 45 and under use with their communication devices.

    I respect the older guys in this business and have learned much from my mentors, just tired of reading all your propaganda for your old companies. Don’t think you can comment on Viking since it is east of Nevada.

  7. Debate ideas not people.
    Talk about ideas not yourselves.
    Only Borneo tribesmen are unqualified to speak here.
    Imagine yourself in your happy place…..think pleasant thoughts of palm trees and puppies. Deep breath………..hold………and………release.
    Now doesn’t that feel better?

  8. HEF
    It appears that some people have anger management issues. Of course if you are so confused that even your posting name cannot figure out what you want to be when you grow up, maybe you could get Appliance Therapy.

    • Mike.

      I could use some Appliance Therapy. Thanks. Can you refer someone??? Not to post my resume, but I’ve been cooking professionally on & off since I was 12 and servicing appliances since graduating HS. Im really into the high end, pro-style kitchen appliances, especially ranges. So this is a great site to come to for very helpful info.

      Sorry that you & your buddy are so offended by us old senile farts commenting on other subjects that are not appliances. But if it were not for Stallion’s advice concerning my back problems, which was caused while servicing appliances. I probably would have rushed into having surgery, before I learned all the risks.

      • Chef…How are you doing ? How is the high end business going ? I suppose your having fun cooking even though as we get older we forget things huh ? I hope your problems with your back have gotten better and I do look forward to speaking with you and the other good folks on this site that have made the appliance business the good industry that it is.I suspect that just like a headache some things will pass on to other sites. One interesting thing we have investigated was that at one of our businesses we had a complainer who was totally unreasonable. We found out he was a web troller and had posted negative things about 2,700 times with all sorts of companies. He could not have possibly purchased or had that many items since he complained about 22 different kitchen items alone. So this too shall pass. Take care and be well.

        • Stallion…Im hanging in there. Thanks for asking. Would be nice if I didn’t have the spine issues. But what are you gonna do??? Thats the appliance business. Or I should say that was, since doesnt appear I’ll be doing that type of work anymore, to my dismay. That’s why I like visiting this site so much. Keeps me updated. If anybody out there has a problem with my posts, less the Advisor of course, then too bad for them. Take care of yourself. Talk with you later.

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