Current Eastman chairman calls new president the 'right leader'

Hank Hayes • May 15, 2013 at 10:06 AM

New Eastman Chemical Co. President Mark Costa is the “right leader” for the company’s future, Eastman Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers said today in a conference call with industry analysts.

Eastman’s Board of Directors on Tuesday named Costa, a former executive vice president, as president effective immediately and CEO effective January 1, 2014.Rogers, 62, will continue to serve as chairman and CEO until January 1, 2014, and then will serve as executive chairman of the board. Eastman’s top leader since May 2009, Rogers assured analysts a smooth leadership transition will happen.“Since Mark came to Eastman, he has been instrumental in developing and executing our strategies for growth and was probably the earliest and strongest voice for moving in a direction of becoming more of a specialty (chemical) company,” Rogers said in prepared remarks. “Mark was a leader in the acquisition of Solutia and has been key in the progress we’ve made in its integration. He’s delivered results as head of several business segments, including additives and functional products and advanced materials and beyond his (profit and loss) responsibilities, he has effectively led manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and our corporate innovation group. Eastman is fortunate to have someone of Mark’s leadership capabilities, judgment and experience to take the CEO position.”Costa, 46, thanked Rogers for his leadership and the board for confidence in him. Costa also noted an uncertain global economy over the next few years makes Eastman’s portfolio businesses more important than ever.

“I expect we will continue to benefit from our world technology platforms from the diversity of our portfolio and from our leading positions in key markets,” Costa said. “I am confident we will deliver $8 of (earnings per share) in 2015, resulting in double-digit growth rates over the next several years...(Rogers) is the best boss I’ve ever had...It is my intent to build on his track record of success.”.

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