Stephen Newlin — who led a successful turnaround at compounding leader PolyOne Corp. — has been named president and CEO of global chemical distributor Univar Inc.
Newlin, 63, has been a board member for Downers Grove, Ill.-based Univar since 2014. That's the same year that he retired as president and CEO of Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne, after an eight-year run in which he improved the firm's finances while focusing on specialty products. Newlin on May 12 retired as PolyOne's chairman.
“I am excited to continue working with this talented and dedicated team in a new leadership capacity,” Newlin said in a May 12 news release from Univar.
Univar Chairman William Stavropoulos — who formerly led plastics and chemicals giant Dow Chemical Co. — said in the release that Newlin “is uniquely qualified to lead Univar and has built an impressive record of accomplishment and growth throughout his 37-year career.”
Newlin will be replacing Erik Fyrwald, who resigned from Univar on May 2 after four years as CEO for a similar position at another company. That company wasn't identified in the release.
Univar distributes more than 4,500 chemical products from more than 3,500 suppliers. The firm posted sales of almost $9 billion in 2015, with 75 percent of that total coming from the U.S. and Canada.
A Univar spokesman said that the firm supplies some chemical products to PolyOne. Univar also owns Distrupol, a major distributor of plastic resins in the European market. A PolyOne spokesperson said that Distrupol doesn't compete with PolyOne's resin distribution unit, since that unit doesn't sell into Europe.