Ferro Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hector Ortino died of natural causes Nov. 28.
Ortino, 63, had held those positions with Cleveland-based Ferro since 1999. Ferro spokesman John Bingle said Ortino died at a Cleveland-area hospital. Ortino had not been ill and Bingle described his death as ``unexpected.''
Chemicals industry veteran James Kirsch was named CEO on Nov. 29. He had joined the company in October 2004 as president and chief operating officer. Previously he was president of Premix Inc. and Quantum Composites Inc., manufacturers of thermoset molding compounds, parts and subassemblies. He started his career at Dow Chemical Co.
Ortino joined Ferro in 1971 as treasurer of its operations in Argentina, Ortino's native country. He later held similar positions in Mexico before moving to the United States in 1983. Ortino would remain based in the United States for the remainder of his career.
A graduate of Buenos Aires University, Ortino served on the board of directors for manufacturing firm Parker-Hannifin Corp. and for New York Life Insurance Co. He also was a trustee with the Playhouse Square Foundation, the Musical Arts Association and United Way.
Ferro is a specialty chemicals maker that ranks as one of North America's largest polypropylene compounders. The firm also makes color compounds and concentrates and thermoplastic elastomers. Plastics account for about 15 percent of Ferro's annual sales, which were $1.8 billion in 2004.