We're in an era of celebrity CEOs.
“Undercover Boss” is getting ready for its eighth season on primetime television. Movies and books about CEOs always seem to be popular, going back to “Citizen Kane” all the way to “Jobs.”
And for the first time ever, the United States has a CEO running for president. (And, on top of that, one who's signature line until this year was “You're fired!)
The CEO is the decider. A great CEO can lead a company to success. A bad one can doom a firm to failure.
Plastics News wants to put the spotlight on some good — and great — CEOs again this year. So we're repeating a popular feature that we did for the first time last year, in our CEO issue special report.
The report will run in our Sept. 5 issue. We plan to profile current and retired industry CEOs, similar to our recent Women Breaking the Mold and Rising Stars special issues.
Who's eligible? We're looking for people with president or CEO titles at plastics companies. Our main focus is on North America, but it's not limited to this region — we'll consider global CEOs with a story that's interesting to our audience.
The feature can include CEOs from processor companies, and supplier companies too. So molders, extruders, thermoformers and rotomolders are encouraged to participate, and so are CEOs of toolmakers, machinery and resin companies, compounders, distributors and recyclers.
And the companies can be family-owned, publicly traded or privately held companies. The CEO doesn't necessarily have to be a company owner.
Finally, we're out once again to profile a diverse mix of people.
If you'd like to participate, visit PlasticsNews.com/ceo by Aug. 22 to fill out our survey. It doesn't take a lot of time, we ask questions about your mentor, goals, career advice and your company and its culture. So it's an opportunity to share the spotlight with others.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Speaking of celebrity CEOs, this week we will have a big scoop on Page 1 about the return of one of the plastics industry's best known executives, Tom Murdough.
Murdough is coming back from retirement to start a new company that will make rotationally molded toys in northeast Ohio.
Sound familiar? It should. Murdough founded Little Tikes Co. way back in 1970. He sold the Hudson, Ohio-based company to Rubbermaid in 1984 and left in 1989.
But he wasn't finished. He started Step2 Co. in 1991, and within five years it was Tikes' biggest competitor.
Under his leadership, both Little Tikes and Step 2 became some of the best known brands in the plastics industry.
Murdough has had a busy retirement, supporting charities and civic efforts. But now he's returned to the rotomolded toy market. With his new company, Simplay3, he'll be trying for a third time to create a successful business using a strategy of treating employees well, encouraging creative design, and specializing in big molded toys that are tough for foreign competitors to challenge.
One key employee at Simplay3 is Jim Mariol, who designed the iconic Cozy Coupe for Little Tikes way back in 1979. It will be interesting to see if they can recapture some of that magic.
Welcome back to the plastics industry, Tom.
Loepp is editor of Plastics News and author of “The Plastics Blog.” Contact him on Twitter @donloepp.