The first wave of Dow Chemical Co.'s massive, $1 billion cost-cutting effort has hit production in its hometown of Midland, Mich.
Dow announced Jan. 15 that it will cut 30 manufacturing jobs in Midland by the end of the month and another 95 by May. Spokeswoman Holly La Rose-Roenicke said it's undetermined how many of the cuts will come from Midland's plastic operations, which include polystyrene and ABS resin production, as well as extrusion of Saran-brand polyvinylidene film for S.C. Johnson Co.
Dow also produces an array of custom chemical products in Midland, including some used in the pharmaceutical industry.
The move comes about a month after William Stavropolous returned as Dow's chief executive officer. Stavropolous, who had been Dow's CEO from 1995-2000, replaced Michael Parker on Dec. 13 after the company experienced two years of poor financial performance.
On Dec. 18, Stavropolous told Dow employees he would put plans in place that could lead to plant closings and job cuts in an attempt to save Dow $1 billion in 2003. The Midland cuts are the first detailed moves in Stavropolous' plan.
In a Jan. 13 message to Dow employees, Stavropolous said Dow and its employees ``must act immediately to take control of our destiny.''
``Beginning right now, we will act to raise our prices, protect and grow our volume and dramatically decrease our costs,'' he said. ``Simply put, if it doesn't improve our bottom line in 2003, we just shouldn't do it this year.''
His message lacked specifics, but confirmed that Dow dramatically will reduce external spending, tightly control travel and implement a six-month moratorium on all new, unauthorized or engineering-only capital projects in 2003.