Fred L. Tabacchi
Fred L. Tabacchi’s 45-year career with The Hoover Company began humbly during the door-to-door era as a salesman in an obscure New Mexico mining town. His career came to a close while holding the position of president and chief operating officer of the world’s leading floor care company.
Through his positions in sales management, then executive management, Fred continually promoted the Hoover name and helped grow the business by focusing on the need to have more than one vacuum cleaner in the home. In addition, he relentlessly stressed the need for skilled individuals in the Hoover work force. He said, “People make the difference. . .between mediocrity and success. . .between routine and creative thinking. Training encourages the creation of ideas which keep an organization alive, alert and prepared for tomorrow.”
In 1972, in his role as vice president of the Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers Association, Fred was instrumental in a decision that had a major impact on the floor care industry. He asked other manufacturers to work with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to develop vacuum cleaner standards, including the now well-known ASTM F608-89 standard to measure dirt extraction from carpets. Today there are more than 25 vacuum cleaner standards.
Fred was born in Kelly, NM, in 1917. He joined The Hoover Company in 1937 as a salesman in Albuquerque, reporting to the Colorado Springs sales office. He subsequently held Hoover sales management positions in a number of midwestern cities before being named division manager of the eight-state Cleveland division in 1959. He was transferred to North Canton headquarters as a field sales manager in 1961, and then became general sales manager.
Fred was named vice president of marketing in 1963 and senior vice president of U.S. operations and Canada in 1964. That year, he was also named director of The Hoover Company, Hoover Worldwide Corporation and Hoover Canada. He was subsequently named to a number of top management positions before being named president and chief operating officer for The Hoover Company and Hoover Worldwide in 1975, a position from which he retired in 1982.
1998 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee