Charles L. Jones, FIDSA | Newell Rubbermaid
Inducted into the Academy of Fellows: 2001
Charles L. Jones is the chief design and research & development officer for Newell Rubbermaid. An internationally recognized design leader, Jones effectively manages multi-disciplinary creative organizations specializing in the linkage of brand, design and business. As Newell Rubbermaid's first ever CDO, he is charged with delivering design and technology solutions across the spectrum of product, packaging and web. He joined Newell Rubbermaid from Masco Corp. where he was chief design officer accountable for driving design strategy and deployment across all 28 global business units.
Before joining Masco Corp., Jones was vice president of consumer design for Whirlpool Corporation. During his tenure, he built a global staff of industrial designers, product engineers, anthropologists, interaction designers, design strategists and human factors engineers. Leading five design studios, located in cultural epicenters around the world, he used design to deliver compelling, differentiated brand experiences, which win in the marketplace.
Prior to joining Whirlpool Corp., Jones was with Xerox Corp., Rochester, NY. Recruited in 1991, he led the global industrial design/user interface design/human factors engineering/consumer insights function, with locations in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Placed on Xerox’s high potential development program, he also held line and staff assignments and was responsible for leading the Business Strategy Office.
Jones attended Purdue University and graduated Magna cum Laude in industrial design and human factors engineering in 1981. He was the first student to graduate from Purdue with such a background. Jones also successfully completed a non-degree management program while at Xerox Corporation in conjunction with Cornell University. He is an active member of the Industrial Designers Society of America, the Design Management Institute, the Corporate Design Foundation and the Human Factors Society.
Jones is the author of numerous academic publications surrounding the field of cognitive psychology and human engineering. Examples of some of his publications include: Decision Making in Intersection Entry Accidents, Linthicum, MD, AMA, 1980, Crowding in Elevators; Duration of Post Exposure Effects; the proceedings of the Environmental Design Association #10, Buffalo, NY, 1978 and The Interface between Industrial Design and Human Factors Engineering, the third national symposium on human factors and industrial design in consumer products, Columbus, OH, 1982. Jones has been a guest speaker at Ohio State University, Cornell University, University of Rochester School of Business, Purdue University School of Business Administration and School of Engineering and the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University covering the topics of brand, design, innovation and product development.
Jones has been the subject of over 100 magazine and syndicated newspaper articles including Businessweek,International Design Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Abitare. He has also been interviewed for numerous books related to design and business. He contributed to the editing of Creating Breakthrough Products by authors Cagan and Vogel published in 2001, and was featured in a chapter in the Cagan/Vogel book The Design of Things to Come, published in 2005.
Under his lead, Whirlpool Corp. has continued to develop design concepts every two years since 2000, with exhibitions at the Triennale in Milan and at the Louvre in Paris. All five international design exhibitions —mAcrowave, Project F, in.kitchen, in.home and GREENKITCHEN — have succeeded in attracting considerable media attention and have fuelled an intellectual debate around the role of design within the home. They have achieved coverage among leading international design publications such as Domus, Abitare, Interni and Frame, and daily press, such as La Liberation and Le Monde in France and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in the United States.
Chief Design and Research & Development Officer
September 2012 – Present
Chief Design Officer
May 2010 – September 2012
V.P. Global Product Design
December 1998 – April 2010
Sr. Director, Advanced Product Concepts
October 1995 – December 1998
"Design thinkers...are like quantum physicists, able to consider a world in which anything — like traveling at the speed of light — is theoretically possible. But a majority of people, including the Six Sigma advocates in most corporations, think more like Newtonian physicists — focused on measurement along three well-defined dimensions."
Excerpted from Welcoming the New, Improving the Old.
Jones has received over 30 international awards for product design excellence and has been awarded in excess of 20 patents. Under his leadership, Whirlpool Corporation has received numerous design and product creation accolades from prestigious juries, including the ADI Index, shortlist for the Compasso d’Oro, the Red Dot and iF Awards, culminating with a record year of 37 international design awards in 2009
In 2008 Jones was named to the Dean’s Advisory Council at Purdue University and was recognized as ‘Alumnus of the Year’. In the same year, he joined the advisory board for the graduate design program at the Center for Creative Studies.
In 2005 he was named a ‘Master of Design’ by Fast Company magazine in recognition of the body of work completed under his leadership at Whirlpool Corporation. The publication recognized the innovative tools and methods applied by Jones to achieve a shift from commodity business to brand business.
In late 2004 Jones was named a Fellow with the World Technology Network in recognition of his accomplishments in linking brand and design strategies, resulting in positive business impact.
In 2003 Whirlpool Corp. was recognized with three Industrial Design Excellence Awards for design and business leadership.
In 2002 Jones was selected to chair the IDSA's Industrial Design Excellence Awards, in recognition for his leadership in the field of product design. In the same year, Whirlpool Corp. received the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award in recognition of the company’s leadership in the field of product design.
In 2001 Jones created an annual roundtable of corporate design leaders, with executives from BMW, Nokia, Sony, Bose, Bombardier and Microsoft participating. In the same year, he was appointed to the Academy of Fellows by the Industrial Design Society of America, their highest form of professional recognition.
In 1999 Jones was named to chair the Businessweek/IDSA Designs of the Decade competition, which recognized the most influential designs from the ‘90s, based on design and business success.