Kingsport Times-News: Eastman's next CEO lining up management team

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Eastman's next CEO lining up management team

Sharon Hayes • Apr 6, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Eastman Chemical Co.’s next chief executive is lining up his management team.

James P. Rogers, who will take over as CEO when Brian Ferguson steps down at the annual shareholders meeting May 7, has tapped Richard L. Johnson to serve as an executive officer, joining the executive team effective May 7.

In addition, responsibilities for executives Ronald C. Lindsay and Mark J. Costa will be expanded.

“I’m very fortunate to inherit a strong leadership team that I’ve worked closely with for several years,” Rogers said. “With this new structure, we will have more executives directly responsible for profit and loss, without increasing the size of our executive team.”

Rogers said the executive changes, along with management changes related to the previously announced work force reduction, will improve efficiency by flattening the organization while maintaining the company’s business and functional capabilities.

As a senior vice president, Johnson, 59, will continue to be responsible for the company’s fibers segment. He will also be responsible for the supply chain function, acetyl stream operations, and management of regions outside the United States.

A Kingsport native, Johnson joined Eastman in 1971 and held various positions in environmental programs, operations and manufacturing until he was named superintendent of the Cellulose Esters Division in 1991. He was named superintendent of the Acetate Tow Division in 1993 and became vice president and general manager of the fibers business in 1996, and group vice president of fibers in 2002. Johnson was named group vice president of the performance chemicals, intermediates and fibers businesses in 2006.

Costa, 43, will continue as an executive vice president and retain responsibility for the company’s specialty plastics segment, polyester stream operations, and corporate marketing. New responsibilities for Costa will include the coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks (CASPI) segment, sales, pricing, marketing development and innovation, and sustainability functions.

Costa joined Eastman in 2006 as senior vice president, corporate strategy and marketing. He became executive vice president, polymers business group head and chief marketing officer in 2008.

Lindsay, 50, will become an executive vice president effective May 7, with continuing responsibility for the company’s industrial gasification strategy and the Beaumont, Texas, gasification project. In addition, he will be responsible for the performance chemicals and intermediates segment and for the performance polymers segment. He will also oversee the management of olefins stream operations and will be responsible for engineering and construction.

Lindsay joined Eastman in 1980 as a chemical engineer in the manufacturing and process development area of the acid division. He has served in various capacities since then, including superintendent of development in the Acid Division, managing director of Primester, superintendent of the Acid Division and Organic Chemicals Division, and director of performance chemicals and intermediates business projects. He became vice president and general manager of the intermediates business organization in 2003 and was named senior vice president and chief technology officer in 2006. He was appointed senior vice president of corporate strategy and regional leadership in 2008.

Rogers, 58, is currently president of the company and head of the chemicals and fibers group. Once Rogers assumes the CEO position on May 7, Ferguson will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board.

Other members of the executive management team include Curt E. Espeland, senior vice president and chief financial officer; Theresa K. Lee, senior vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary; Greg W. Nelson, senior vice president, chief technology officer; and Norris P. Sneed, senior vice president, manufacturing support and chief administrative officer.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide and employs 10,200 worldwide.

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