Ralph E. Jackson Jr., chief operating officer and deputy chairman of Cooper Industries, has announced he will retire from the company by the end of 2003. Kirk S. Hachigian, executive vice president, will immediately assume a broadened level of responsibilities as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Electrical Products.

Until his retirement, Jackson will continue as deputy chairman and as a member of the company's board of directors and also will provide oversight for the company's Tools and Hardware businesses.

“Ralph has served Cooper Industries with dedication and distinction for 27 years,” said H. John Riley Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer. “He has played a vital role in enhancing Cooper's reputation for operational and customer service excellence, while helping to execute our strategy of transforming the company into a global manufacturer of electrical products, tools and hardware with market-leading performance.”

In his new role, Hachigian will have direct oversight of all of the company's electrical products businesses, including Cooper Power Systems headquartered in Waukesha, Wis., and Cooper Menvier, headquartered in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England.

“Since joining Cooper in 2001, Kirk has been instrumental in implementing the company's Cooper Connection program,” said Riley. “He has helped to effectively globalize the company's scope and scale through important, value added initiatives. As a result, Cooper is a much stronger competitor in today's complex worldwide electrical products marketplace.”