Liveris to step down next month as DowDuPont chairman

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DowDuPont today announced that Andrew N. Liveris will exit as Executive Chairman, and retire this summer from Materials Science Division of the company.

Liveris and DowDuPont CEO Edward Breen engineered the merger and upcoming separation of the combined companies into three publicly traded entities – agriculture (Corteva); materials science (Dow); and specialty products (DuPont).

Corteva and DuPont will be based in northern Delaware, with Dow based at its long-time headquarters in Midland, MI.

Both Breen and Liveris will walk away with about $80 million from “golden parachute” agreements. Liveris will account for about $53 million of that figure.

Transition had been previously announced

Liveris informedthe board that he will no longer serve as Executive Chairman of DowDuPont effective April 1. Jeff Fettig, current co-Lead Independent Director for DowDuPont, will serve as a non-employee Executive Chairman of the Board of DowDuPont. Liveris will continue as a director of DowDuPont through his previously announced retirement from the company effective July 1.

“On behalf of the Board, we want to thank Andrew for his outstanding leadership and vision. Dow has achieved record operating results and shareholder value under Andrew’s leadership, which continues as part of the DowDuPont merger,” said Fettig. “Andrew is truly a global CEO in every sense of the term, and his leadership not only at Dow, but across the entire business community, will be felt for decades.”

Fettig continued: “Since joining the Board of Dow, it has been a privilege to work alongside Andrew and the rest of the Board, as we developed and executed against Dow’s market-driven strategy. I look forward to continuing to work with the entire DowDuPont Board to implement the intended separation of DowDuPont into three focused and industry-leading businesses.”

Liveris praises Dow staff

“Over the last 14 years, we have transformed Dow from a cyclical chemicals manufacturing company into one powered by science, driven by innovation and delivering solutions to the world. We have aggressively invested in R&D and radically transformed our portfolio of businesses while proudly maintaining our commitment to our heritage and values,” said Liveris. “With that transformation complete and Dow entering into its next phase of growth, now is the right time for me to effect my previously announced plan to transition and then to retire. I want to thank the 54,000 women and men of Dow around the world for their hard work and dedication – without their tireless efforts, Dow would not be where it is today.”

In addition to his successful leadership of Dow, Liveris, 63, has been an international advocate for the criticality of manufacturing to the long-term health of national economies. Liveris is the author of “Make It in America,” a book which presents a comprehensive set of practical policy solutions and business strategies to achieve the Company’s vision of an Advanced Manufacturing economy.

Trump Administration advisor

Liveris was tapped by the Trump Administration to help identify new ways to spur innovation, revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector, and drive economic growth and prosperity, a DowDuPont release noted.

During the latter part of his career, Liveris struggled with paying a premium price for well-managed Philadelphia-based chemical giant Rohm and Haas as the economy was going through a steep downturn.

Dow underwent rounds of cost-cutting and bought out Corning’s share of a large joint venture.

The former Rohm and Haas includes Newark ’s former Rodel semi-conductor polishing equipment unit, which will become part of the new DuPont when the spin-off takes place within the next year and a half.

Liveris faced the same pressure from activist shareholders as did former DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman. Kullman was replaced by Breen, a veteran of restructuring big companies, as part of an effort to fend off a proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz.

Liveris was criticized for staying on at Dow when the merger experienced delays, due to antitrust issues. Both Dow and DuPont sold off pieces of those businesses to satisfy those concerns.

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