A month after announcing a merger that will shake up the compounding industry, Geon Co. and M.A. Hanna Co. have unveiled their combined management lineup.
The appointments reveal a definite focus on aggressive growth through acquisitions or new ventures, as well as an earnest attempt to combine Avon Lake, Ohio-based Geon's PVC compounding base with Cleveland-based Hanna's color, commodity and engineering resin compound offerings. The merger transaction is scheduled to close in August. The new firm, with 10,000 employees and $3.5 billion in annual sales, will relocate to a new location in the Cleveland area.
As previously announced, Hanna Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Phillip Ashkettle will serve as chairman and CEO of the unnamed new firm. Geon Chairman and CEO Thomas Waltermire will report to Ashkettle until replacing him as CEO in 2002 and as chairman in 2004.
Top-ranking executives Peter Eckle and Donald Knechtges will lead the new firm's growth efforts, continuing a direction that Hanna and Geon had pursued independently. Eckle is Hanna's senior vice president and chief development officer, while Knechtges is Geon's senior vice president of corporate technology and business development.
"One of the strategic elements of the new company will be leading further consolidation in the specialty chemicals sector," said Hanna investor relations director Christopher Farage, who will run the new firm's key communications and public affairs efforts.
"Both [Eckle and Knechtges] bring a set of experiences to the role that together will be very beneficial," Farage added.
Knechtges also will oversee the new firm's engineered films group, with Eckle handling a new material sourcing and logistics unit.
Geon/Hanna's global plastics compounding and color concentrates business will be fronted by the three-man team of Lance Mitchell, Garth Henry and Michael Rademacher.
Mitchell is Geon's vice president and general manager of compounds; Henry is Hanna's executive vice president of international operations; and Rademacher is Hanna's senior vice president of plastics-Americas.
"Together, [Mitchell, Henry and Rademacher] will lay out the future and design of our compounding business, including PVC, polyolefins and the color business," Farage said. "The design they're working on will be defined in the near future, but it will definitely have a strong international component."
Other appointments include:
Hanna resin distribution President David Knowles will hold the same position with the new firm.
Dennis Cocco, Geon's senior vice president of corporate and investor affairs, will lead the new firm's communications and public affairs.
Denis Belzile, vice president and general manager of specialty resins and formulators, will retain that title.
W. David Wilson, Geon vice president and chief financial officer, will be chief financial officer.
The new firm was determined to announce a management team shortly after the May 8 merger announcement, Farage said.
"We're committed not only to getting the merger done, but to getting it done swiftly and thoughtfully," he said. "Things tend to go badly in mergers if you go at a modest pace. We want to get it done quickly so we can focus on building value for our shareholders."