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DuPont announces new leadership
Published: 18 February 2020 - 6 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
DuPont announced that its board of directors has appointed current executive chairman Edward D Breen to the additional role of CEO. Lori D Koch, vice president of Investor Relations and Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis, is named chief financial officer. Both appointments are effective immediately.The Board of Directors has madetheseleadership changesto accelerate operational performance improvement and to more directly tap Ed Breen’s significant management experience. As a result, Marc Doyle and Jeanmarie Desmond, who have served as CEO and CFO respectively, will depart the company.“Since he first assumed the Chairman and CEO role of DuPont in 2015, Ed Breen led the company through an extensive transformation to further unlock thepotentialof its distinctivecapabilities, innovative portfolio and deep customer relationships,” said Alexander M Cutler, DuPont’s lead independent director. “After careful consideration, the board concluded now is the right time to make these leadership changes,including restoring Ed to the chief executive role to draw more directly on his substantial operating experience. The Board is confident that together Ed and Lori willimprove operational performanceand ensure DuPont fully delivers on its significant potentialfor long-term value creation.”“The Board and I deeply appreciateMarc and Jean’s significant contributions over decades of service to the company,” said Ed Breen. “Mostrecently, they led the company through a period of important transition,and we are grateful for their dedication to DuPont over the course of their careers.”“While we made some progressin 2019,we did not meet our own expectations and we now need to move aggressivelyto secure our foundation for growth,” said Ed Breen. “We have solid businesses,but,as we discussed on our recent earnings call, we need to accelerate operational improvement and make sure we are taking appropriate action to deliver on our commitmentsfor the year.”“Lori Koch will be a great partner in this effort. She has delivered consistently excellent results across a substantial career as a finance leader at DuPontand has significant knowledge of our businesses. Lori hasdemonstrated her expertise in developing and executing the right financial strategy to support the achievement of our business objectives,”said Breen.“I continue to have enormous confidence in this company and in our team. Delivering on our commitmentsand realizing our full potentialis my personal top priority. Consistent with this I will be transitioning from the Corteva board to focus fully on our work at DuPont,” Breen said.The company will continue to advance the initiatives announced on its fourth quarter and year-end 2019 conference call to assure that its organizational and cost structuresare right sized to reflect the ongoing portfolio changes. To ensure this initiative maintains the right level of rigor, Nick Fanandakis, former DuPont CFO, will serve as Senior Advisor to the CEO with a focus on driving the restructuringeffort. His deep knowledge of the DuPont businesses and his proven ability to create shareholder value will ensure the company is better positioned to drive sustainable growth and profitability over the long term.Over a17-year career at DuPont, Lori Koch has held finance leadership roles with increasing responsibility spanningbusiness units, the science and technologyorganizationand corporate functions. She led finance forseveral multi-billion-dollarbusiness units including Packaging &Industrial Polymers, Performance Polymers and Performance Materialsbefore becoming head of Investor Relations and Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis. Over the last four years she has worked closely with Ed Breen and played a principal role instrategy, planning and shareholder engagement across the DowDuPont transaction and subsequent split into three new independent companies. Earlier in her career, Koch served in key finance roles at Comcast Business Communications and Lucent Technologies. She currently serves as a Director of Aceto Corporation, a leading global virtual manufacturer of life sciences materials and technology. Koch holds a Master of Sciencein Accounting from Babson College and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and International Business from Pennsylvania State University.Ed Breen has served as the Executive Chairman of DuPont since the separation in June 2019 and previously served as Chief Executive Officer of DowDuPont since 2017. Prior to the merger of DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company, Breen was Chairman and CEO of DuPontsince 2015. Over the past 5 years, Breen has driven significant performance improvements across DuPont’s businesses, negotiated one of the most transformative mergers in the industry to create DowDuPont, and subsequently launched three industry-leading independent companies. Prior to his time with DuPont, Breen served as Chairman and CEO of Tyco International plc (“Tyco”) from 2002 until 2012, where he transformed Tyco into a strong market leader, reviving the company from near bankruptcy and rebuilding the company'sbrand and credibility. He oversaw a successful restructuring, including divesting non-core operations, and established and met goals within areas of operational excellence and corporate governance. Prior to joining Tyco, Breen held senior management positions at Motorola and General Instrument Corporation.Breen serves as a director of Comcast Corporation and as a member of the advisory board of New Mountain Capital LLC, a private equity firm. He also currently serves as a director of Corteva Agriscience, but has informed the board that he will not stand for re-electionat this year’s annual meeting of shareholdersdue to his increased public company responsibilities.