Albemarle makes executive management changes
In an effort to streamline operations, increase focus on new and emerging markets and achieve an ambitious goal of doubling 2010 revenue by 2015, Albemarle Corporation CEO Luke Kissam has announced several changes to the company's executive management team. "2011 was a great start for us" toward reaching the 2015 goal, Kissam says. "We had our most successful year in our history. We grew revenue by about 24% and profits by 34%. But 2012 presents a lot of challenges. We think this gives us the best chance of overcoming the challenges ahead and converting them into opportunities." The executive management changes include:
• John Steitz will become president and chief operating officer, effective March 1, and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's operations, including global responsibility for manufacturing, supply chain, sales, and health, safety and environmental departments. Steitz has nearly 30 years' experience in the industry and has been with Albemarle since 2000, most recently serving as executive vice president and COO. Kissam says Steitz "is the best in the chemical industry when it comes to execution."
• Anthony "Tony" Parnell will become global supply chain vice president. In this newly created role, Parnell will oversee all aspects of Albemarle's global supply chain, including sales, procurement and logistics. Parnell has been with the company since 1982, when it was still a division of Ethyl Corporation, and most recently held the title of polymer solutions vice president. Matthew "Matt" Juneau will assume Parnell's former position as polymer solutions vice president.
• Ron Gardner has been named vice president and will be primarily responsible for growing Albemarle's emerging lithium business. Proprietary technology the company has in extracting lithium from its brine reserves in Arkansas holds great promise, Kissam says. "It's a high-growth area that we're really not into right now, but an area we think we can be extremely competitive in," he says. Gardner joined Albemarle (then Ethyl Corporation) in 1973, and formerly led the company's global supply chain organization.
• John Nicols has been promoted to strategic development and catalysts senior vice president. While Nicols will continue to oversee all aspects of the catalysts global business performance, he will also take charge of Albemarle's strategy to expand into new opportunities as it continues to implement its "Vision 2015" growth strategy. Nicols has been with Albemarle since1990, most recently serving as catalysts vice president.
• Scott Martin has been promoted to fine chemistry vice president. He joined Albemarle in 2001, through the acquisition of ChemFirst Fine Chemicals, and has subsequently consolidated the company's agricultural and pharmaceutical products into the Fine Chemistry Services division. He most recently held the title of hydroprocessing catalysts vice president.
• Susan Kelliher has been named human resources senior vice president, effective March 5. Kelliher, a Texas native, most recently served as human resources vice president for Hewlett Packard in San Diego. Her family will be relocating to Baton Rouge soon, Kissam says. "She's going to be a superstar," he says.
Albemarle announced its "Vision 2015" goal last summer, saying it hopes to achieve its goal through organic growth opportunities and selected acquisitions. The company is also looking to emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and India for much of this growth, as it continues to diversify away from North America and Europe. Albemarle reported sales of $2.36 billion in 2010 and has set a goal of growing those revenues to between $4.8 billion and $5.6 billion by 2015.
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