1:00 p.m. Central European Time. In Gostyn, Poland, employees at MANN+HUMMEL Filtration Technology (MHFT) are returning from their lunch break. At the same time, Keith Wilson, President of MHFT on the other side of the Atlantic in Gastonia, North Carolina (U.S.), is getting ready for his first appointment of the day.

At MANN+HUMMEL Filtration Technology’s (MHFT’s) American head office, Keith Wilson is sitting at his dark brown solid wood desk, which is practically hidden beneath a pile of work documents. Next to the pile is a thermos flask with WIX Filters product branding and a photo of Wilson, his wife Kim and daughter Lauren. An array of awards, books and filters lovingly adorn the glass cabinet behind the desk. They’re all testament to the 33 years that the American has worked for MHFT and its predecessor, Affinia Group. “Over time, it all adds up,” Wilson laughs.

 

We all pursue one common objective: Leadership in Filtration. This demands an atmosphere of trust.

Keith Wilson, President MANN+HUMMEL Filtration Technology

A common objective

Keith Wilson´s laughter is infectious and doesn´t sound forced. And anyone who works with him knows that he rarely appears stressed or in a bad mood. The 55-year-old is full of energy and motivation, and spreading this motivation to his staff is something Wilson sees as part of his job. In the little time he has between conference calls, meetings, desk-bound work and numerous business trips, he therefore enjoys visiting the four MHFT sites in Gastonia and seeing his staff. “I want to make sure that we’re all pulling together in an atmosphere of trust. As the head of the business unit, it’s my job to make this happen. And that includes knowing what employees need, listening to them and telling them about both minor and major changes,” he says.

The acquisition of Affinia Group’s global filtration business by MANN+HUMMEL last year marked a big change for Wilson and his team. The merger of around 4,500 new employees and 10 sites around the world with MANN+HUMMEL is now in full swing. Joint distribution centers, brands and customer meetings already exist. The potential to create synergy and generate growth is being reviewed and leveraged in all areas of the business – from finance and HR to marketing and IT and ultimately production.

It’s an intensive process with one clear aim: to form one entity from two former competitors with 150 years’ combined experience of filtration and thus tap into new markets and segments, for example the heavy-duty sector in the U.S. and hydraulic filtration. Alongside those with management responsibility at MANN+HUMMEL, Wilson also works closely with the post-merger activities team headed by Ralph Müller and Danielle Silvester.

Metallgitter
Mann am Fließband
Filter im Karton
Mann beim Verpacken von Filtern
Werkshalle mit Fließband
Frau beim verpacken von Wix-Filtern
Keith Wilson mit Kollegen im Büro
Keith Wilson mit Kollegen am Konferenztisch
Ölfilter
Keith Wilsons Schreibtisch mit Flagge, Fotos und Finanzstatus

Wilson and his team are fully aware that there’s more to this work than simply merging departments and their tasks. “We also need to share our corporate values,” he says. “Up till now, this has gone extremely well. Of course it helps that we already had similar values and are confident of achieving success together.

 

We share common values, ensuring common success.

Keith Wilson, President MANN+HUMMEL Filtration Technology

It’s a bit like in sport,” he says. “My old basketball coach once said that every member of a team must work for the others, and regardless of whether we encounter ups or downs, successes or failures, everyone must know that his team members will be there for them – know, not just hope. And that’s what we have here.”

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Excellent teamwork