The longtime Chief Executive of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris who led the company for the last 14 years, is stepping down.
Andrew Liveris announced two years ago he’d retire by mid-2017, but that was delayed until the company named a successor to head its materials-science division, one of three companies that DowDupont will divide itself into.
Liveris, 63, will give up his executive chairmanship in April and his role as director in July when he officially retires. Jeff Fettig, a longtime independent director, will become Executive Chairman. Jim Fitterling will lead the materials-science company, to be created during a planned breakup next year. DowDuPont will break itself into three distinct companies after a successful, merger between Dow and DuPont last year valued at close to $70 billion.
Liveris, who has led Dow Chemical for 14 years, guided the company through a severe spike in energy prices in 2007-08 (petrochemicals as a major cost for chemical producers), as well as the global economic crisis that followed, almost upending the company founded late in the 19th century. Liveris’ legacy will be the merger with DuPont, and the path by which the combined company will break apart.
The merger first announced in December 2015 was initially expected to close two years ago, but it had to be piloted through stiff resistance from U.S. and foreign regulators. The tie-up between the two had been a Liveris goal for almost a decade at that point. DowDuPont will spin off this year into three public companies: one focusing on agriculture, one on material science and one on speciality products.