MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Synthomer plc (Harlow, UK) has announced the appointment of Michael Willome as Group Chief Executive Officer, as per the company's press release.
Michael will succeed Calum MacLean, who announced in January 2021 that he wished to step down once a suitable successor had been identified. Michael, 54, will join the Synthomer Board as Chief Executive on 1 November 2021. Calum will remain in role in the meantime and thereafter to ensure an orderly transition.
Michael is an established public market CEO with a track record of driving performance through both strong operational management and strategic actions, including M&A. He has a deep understanding of the end markets in which Synthomer operates, with speciality chemicals and broad geographic experience.
From January 2016 to April 2021, Michael was CEO of Conzzeta AG (renamed Bystronic AG in May 2021), a global conglomerate listed on the SIX Swiss exchange which comprised five businesses. Under his leadership, through organic growth and acquisitions, the group with 5,200 employees achieved a doubling of EBIT in the four years ended 2019 and an increase in revenues to CHF1.6 billion. In 2020, Michael implemented a fundamental transformation of the Company which included focusing on Bystronic and the successful divestment of all other businesses.
Previously, Michael spent 18 years with Clariant AG, latterly leading its global Industrial & Consumer Specialities division from 2010 to 2015, a business which at the time generated sales of CHF1.5 billion and had some 2,300 employees. This followed 13 years in leadership roles in Asia Pacific, where he was division head of the region, based in Hong Kong, as well as in Canada and Turkey. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Glaston, listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Michael, a Swiss national, will relocate to the UK and be based in Synthomer’s head office in London.
As MRC reported earlier, Synthomer said in October, 202, it decided to close its styrene-butadiene-rubber (SBR) production site at Oulu, Finland, by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The company confirmed in August that it was in a consultation process with employees at Oulu concerning future options for the facility.
Styrene is the main feedstock for the production of polystyrene (PS).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 187,320 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, up by 20% year on year. April estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in Russia was 49,370 tonnes, up by 35% year on year (36,620 tonnes a year earlier).