William Stavropoulos' successful - if unplanned - comeback at Dow Chemical Co. will end April 1 when he retires as chairman of the Midland, Mich.-based plastics and chemicals giant.
President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris, 51, will become chairman upon Stavropolous' retirement.
Stavropoulos, 66, originally retired from the firm in late 2000 but came back in late 2002 when Dow's financial performance faltered under the leadership of Michael Parker.
Stavropoulos, who joined Dow in 1967, quickly put in place plans that closed several plants, cut more than 3,000 jobs and reduced annual costs by almost $400 million. As a result, Dow showed a profit of $1.7 billion in 2003 after losing almost $340 million in 2002.
Dow's profit success has continued, with $2.8 billion in 2004 and $3.4 billion in the first nine months of 2005. The firm's per-share stock price also has rebounded, rising from $26 in early 2003 to more than $55 in early 2005.
Stavropoulos relinquished the role of Dow president to Liveris in late 2003. Liveris then assumed Stavropoulos' CEO title in late 2004.
Stavropoulos had served seven years as president and five years as CEO before his first retirement.
Dow Chemical ranks as one of the world's largest manufacturers of polyolefins and styrenics. The firm posted sales of $40.2 billion in 2004 and $34.4 billion in the first nine months of 2005, with about half of those totals coming from plastics.