After four years in the top spot, Joseph Galli has resigned as chief executive officer of consumer products giant Newell Rubbermaid Co.
Newell Rubbermaid board member Mark Ketchum, a former Procter & Gamble Co. executive, will serve as interim CEO of the Sandy Springs, Ga.-based firm until a replacement is found.
The Oct. 17 announcement came about a month after Newell announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs and close one-third of its 80 manufacturing sites, during a three-year period beginning in January.
Galli joined Newell in 2001 after stints with Black & Decker Corp. and Amazon.com. Newell has struggled during his tenure, posting a combined loss of more than $160 million in 2003 and 2004. Its 2004 sales total fell 2 percent to less than $4.9 billion.
In the first half of 2005, Newell showed a profit of almost $91 million from continuing operations, even though sales dropped 4 percent to $3 billion vs. the same period a year ago.
``I am proud of what we have accomplished at Newell Rubbermaid and believe that we have established a strong platform from which the company can pursue growth and product innovation,'' Galli said in a news release.
Newell Rubbermaid ranks No. 7 on Plastics News' 2005 sales-based injection molders ranking, with an estimated $720 million in relevant sales.
Since Newell Co. bought Rubbermaid Inc. in 1999, the combined firm has closed 86 plants and eliminated 12,000 jobs. It also has sold more than $1 billion in low-margin businesses.
In its plastic-related units, Newell Rubbermaid has struggled to pass on higher raw material costs. Earlier this year, a company executive said the firm passed on to its customers only 40 percent of the resin price increases it paid in 2004.
On Wall Street, Newell Rubbermaid's per-share stock began the year around $24 and was near that same level in early trading Oct. 17. The price climbed about 9 percent in early trading after Galli's announcement.