FAIRLAWN, OHIO — A. Schulman Inc. has announced two promotions and its board has gained the option of extending the contract of the company's head man, Joseph Gingo, should A. Schulman's hostile takeover bid for specialty chemical maker Ferro Corp. succeed.
The Fairlawn-based compounder and distributor said Bernard Rzepka has been promoted to the role of executive vice president, chief operating officer. In this new position, Rzepka will implement corporate strategy and growth plans within the global operations organization "and further excellence in the company's procurement and marketing organizations," A. Schulman said.
As a result of the promotion, the company's global supply chain and chief procurement officer, chief marketing officer, and the three regional vice presidents and general managers now will report to Rzepka. Rzepka will report directly to Gingo, the company's chairman, president and CEO.
Rzepka most recently served as vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) for A. Schulman. After earning a degree in engineering and spending five years at ICI Advanced Materials, Rzepka joined A. Schulman in 1992. He held a variety of technology and commercial management positions with the company before assuming his current role in 2008.
"Bernard's experience leading EMEA, which is our largest division, makes him well-qualified to head our global operations," Gingo said. "With Bernard aptly at the helm of our operations, I can continue to seek out opportunities to further grow A. Schulman's core business while exploring avenues to become a premier specialty chemical organization."
The company also announced that Heinrich Lingnau will replace Rzepka as vice president and general manager, EMEA. Lingnau also will keep his current responsibilities as Masterbatch Solutions Business Unit leader "for the short term," the company said.
Lingnau joined A. Schulman in 1999 after working for 11 years at DuPont. He was a regional business leader in engineered plastics with A. Schulman before transitioning into various management-level positions within the company's European operations.
Besides the two promotions, the company announced that its board has negotiated an agreement that gives the board the option of extending Gingo's employment contract as CEO for up to two years "in the event of a transformational acquisition in the specialty chemical space such as the recently proposed Ferro acquisition."
As announced March 4, A. Schulman made an unsolicited proposal to the Ferro board to acquire all of Ferro's stock outstanding for $6.50 a share in cash and A. Schulman stock. Ferro's board has rejected the offer.