Joseph Gingo — who kick-started major changes at materials firm A. Schulman Inc. in the last seven years — will retire from his roles as president and CEO on Dec. 31.
Gingo, 69, will continue as the firm's chairman. Longtime Schulman executive Bernard Rzepka will begin as president and CEO on Jan. 1.
Rzepka, 54, has been with Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman for 22 years and currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“This transition is the result of a rigorous, disciplined and multi-year succession planning process led by the board, and we are confident in Bernard's leadership,” lead board director David Birney said in a June 23 news release. “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Joe for his seven years of successful leadership and transformation of the company.”
Under Gingo's leadership, Schulman exited unprofitable businesses and grew by making nine acquisitions and forming three joint ventures. The firm spent about $520 million on those acquisitions, most recently agreeing to pay $91 million for most of Ferro Corp.'s specialty plastics assets.
Gingo had served on Schulman's board since 2000 and had been with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for more than 40 years when he took the top job at Schulman on Jan. 1, 2008. Schulman's annual sales bottomed out at $1.6 billion during its 2010 fiscal year, but have rebounded to $2.1 billion for fiscal 2013.
The firm's earnings per share also have soared from 87 cents in fiscal 2007 to an expected $2.28 for fiscal 2014. On Wall Street, Schulman's per-share stock price was near $22 when Gingo moved into the corner office, but was near $37.40 in early trading June 23, for an increase of almost 70 percent.