Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris yesterday "launched an impassioned defense" of his strategy, according to this Financial Times story, saying he had "earned the right" to run the company.
Andrew Liveris told the Financial Times that over the past few months he "felt I was in a rugby scrum" as takeover rumors intensified and the alleged plot to sell the company to a buyout group led to the sacking of two high-level employees. The turmoil at Dow, the largest chemical group in the US, underlines the pressures faced by companies that attempt to overhaul their business while remaining listed, bucking the current trend for private equity takeovers. Mr Liveris argued that the majority of shareholders backed his plan to reduce Dow's reliance on commodity businesses and focus on higher-margin products in an attempt to reduce the traditional cyclicality of its earnings. "Few people remember that in 2002-2003 we were on our knees. We have earned the right to transform this company," he said, noting that unlike most of its competitors Dow wanted to remain independent and publicly listed.I'm sure Liveris is ready for the soap opera that has been Dow Chemical's past few months to end. Appealing directly to investors, via the press, looks like a good strategy.