DuPont CEO Breen to be honored for ‘corporate reinvention’


The Chemical Marketing and Economics (CME) group of the American Chemical Society’s New York Section,  will honor  Edward D. Breen CEO  of DowDuPont.

 Breen will receive the Leadership Award for Historic Corporate Reinvention on December 4.

Breen came to the DuPont Co. board while then-CEO Ellen Kullman was fighting off a proxy battle waged by shareholder activist  Nelson Peltz. Kullman prevailed, but later stepped down  with Breen becoming CEO.


Breen and Dow CEO Andrew Liveris went on to engineer a  merger-spin off of Dow and DuPont that is slated to be completed next year. Liveris has since retired from DowDuPont.

The three companies are the original Dow, DuPont and the combined DowDuPont agribusiness company that will be known as Corteva. A few Dow businesses will migrate to DuPont.

Both DuPont and Corteva will be based in northern Delaware. Bren wil serve as chairman of DuPont and as a board member of Corteva.

Under Breen, DuPont operations in Delaware saw 1,700 job cuts. However,  DuPont has since invested a couple of hundred million dollars in its Experimental Station and announcing a relocation and expansion of its Newark production site.

“Mergers and acquisitions are common practice in the evolution of the corporate world. But rare is the ability to navigate the complex commercial, financial and global regulatory hurdles to make a reality the largest merger in the history of the chemical industry, and the fourth biggest of all time. This achievement has been the result of Mr. Breen’s exceptional leadership, which is profoundly changing a number of industry segments,” a release stated.

“The transformational, bold leadership needed to reshape two legendary portfolios of businesses into three highly focused companies, each with a clear strategy and mission, is a centennial event,”  George Rodriguez, leadership awards founder and CME past chair noted. “DowDuPont is implementing a game-changing plan with a colossal impact on global manufacturing. And Ed is a highly respected CEO with a proven record of business ethics, strategic vision, impeccable execution and focus on growth.”

“It is a special privilege to be recognized by the world’s largest scientific society for the work we are doing to bring together the highly complementary portfolios of Dow and DuPont in order to create three industry-leading growth companies. Through a rigorous integration process we are enabling these businesses to connect science to the marketplace in a more focused and productive way and create new solutions for our customers’ challenges,” said   Breen. “I am an enthusiastic supporter of the CME’s work, including its focus on STEM education, and look forward to participating in the celebration of its 64 years of dedication to important programs to teach our industry about critical scientific advances.”

Prior to  DowDuPont,   Breen was the chair of the board and CEO of DuPont, a role which he assumed in November 2015, after joining the board of directors in February 2015 and being named interim chair of the board and CEO in October. Breen served as chairman and CEO of Tyco  International plc from July 2002 until September 2012.

Over the course of his tenure, he transformed Tyco into a  market leader, reviving the company from near bankruptcy and rebuilding the company’s brand and credibility. The former CEO of Tyco spent time in prison for various financial offenses. The company has no relationship to the maker of model railroading gear.

He oversaw a successful restructuring, including divesting non-core operations resulting in the spin-offs of Covidien, TE Connectivity, ADT Corporation and the merger of Tyco Flow Control with Pentair. He also established and met goals within areas of operational excellence and corporate governance.

Tyco’s entities have since been sold to various owners.

Prior to joining Tyco,  Breen held several senior management positions at Motorola from 2000 to 2002, including as president and chief operating officer.   Breen is credited with instituting cost management programs that made Motorola a more efficient and effective organization and led the company back to profitability.

From December 1997 to January 2000, he served as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of General Instrument Corporation

Breen currently serves as lead independent director of Comcast Corporation. He also serves as a member of the advisory board of New Mountain Capital LLC, a private equity firm. Mr. Breen has been awarded numerous governance awards including being named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere.