MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont is looking at external candidates for its next CEO, said Bloomberg.
If it chooses an outsider, it’ll be the first time in 213 years the chemical maker will be led by someone who isn’t a DuPont employee or have a long history at the company. The break with tradition comes after chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman unexpectedly announced her retirement this month, just as DuPont cut its earnings forecast and an activist investor signaled its battle to break up the company isn’t over.
The DuPont board is looking for an outsider who can implement changes, similar to what Ford Motor did by bringing in Boeing executive Alan Mulally, said a person familiar with the Wilmington, Delaware-based company’s strategy. The directors are working with executive-recruitment company Heidrick & Struggles International to find a successor, said two other people familiar with the matter. All three people asked not to be identified because the recruitment process is confidential.
On outside appointment may be welcomed by Trian Fund Management, the investment firm led by Nelson Peltz, which lost a proxy fight in May in a bid to break up the company and is DuPont’s fifth-largest shareholder. On Oct. 5, hours before Kullman said she was stepping down, Trian co-founder Ed Garden said the firm had increased its stake and that "the DuPont story is not over." Trian declined to comment on DuPont’s recruitment of a new CEO.
DuPont’s victory over Trian in May was narrow, and investors have grown anxious for change as the stock price has tumbled, Ahmed said. The shares have declined 19% since Trian’s slate was defeated compared with a 3.8% decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. An outsider who gets along with Peltz could head off another showdown, said John Roberts, a UBS Securities analyst.
Investors and analysts say these five DuPont outsiders could be in the frame as the next CEO: Ed Breen, 59, was appointed as a DuPont director in February and is serving as interim chairman and CEO while leading the search for Kullman’s replacement. He’s best known for running Tyco International after his predecessor, L. Dennis Kozlowski, stole millions of dollars from the company. Breen broke up Tyco while focusing on fire-detection and security systems, tripling investors’ money during his decade at the helm. “For him, nothing is sacred,” said Kevin Walkush, a portfolio manager at Jensen Investment Management in Portland, Oregon. “Reputationally, he’s also a pretty good operator.” Breen was one of two directors praised earlier in 2015 by Trian for their “fresh, independent, highly relevant perspectives."
DuPont’s board "is conducting a thorough search for the best possible candidate to serve as the next leader of DuPont," said Dan Turner, a company spokesman. Breen, Gallogly, Harlan, Reilley and Heidrick & Struggles didn’t respond to requests for comment. Bunch declined to comment on DuPont’s search for a new CEO.
As MRC informed earlier, DuPont announced that it will establish a new innovation and business headquarters in Singapore. The 11,000-square-meter facility will open in 2016 and house nearly 200 scientists, engineers and business leaders. Drawing on DuPont's leading position in Agriculture & Nutrition, Advanced Materials and Bio-based Industrials, the new DuPont Singapore ASEAN headquarters will focus on delivering new innovations tailored to meet the unique needs of the ASEAN marketplace.
DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.