Less than a year after being named president and chief operating officer of Dow Chemical Co., Andrew Liveris will become the firm's chief executive officer on Nov. 1.
He replaces William Stavropoulos, who took the position in 2002 after a two-year retirement. Stavropoulos will continue as chairman of the Midland, Mich.-based company.
Liveris, age 50, has been with Dow for 28 years, holding a number of positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing, new business development and management.
Liveris ``has the vision, focus and drive necessary to continue the significant progress Dow has made in restoring its financial strength and advancing its strategy,'' Stavropoulos said in a news release.
Dow's financial turnaround continued in the first half of 2004, as the firm's total sales jumped 18 percent to $19.2 billion, vs. the year-ago period. Dow's profit also more than doubled, reaching $1.1 billion.
Plastics-related sales accounted for 47 percent of Dow's first-half sales total and 57 percent of the firm's first-half pretax profit. Dow is one of the world's largest polyethylene and polystyrene makers and also produces many specialty plastics.
In 2002, Dow lost almost $340 million, prompting Stavropoulos to replace Michael Parker as the firm's CEO. Stavropoulos then initiated moves that closed several plants, cut 3,100 jobs and reduced the firm's annual costs by almost $400 million. Those steps helped Dow turn a profit of more than $1.7 billion in 2003.
Dow's turnaround also has been noticed on Wall Street. The firm's per-share stock price bottomed out at around $26 in early 2003 before rebounding at close to $44 in early 2004. It was trading around $40 early Aug. 5.