A. Schulman Inc. is setting in motion a plan for a CEO succession.
The Fairlawn, Ohio-based compounder and distributor announced June 27 that it will retain an executive search firm to identify a candidate to succeed current Chairman, President and CEO Joseph M. Gingo.
Schulman said it plans for Gingo, 72, to step down as CEO in August 2018, at the end of his two-year contract.
Gingo returned to Schulman as CEO in August 2016 when the company parted ways with then-CEO Bernard Rzepka as a result of lagging financial performance. Gingo previously led Schulman as CEO from 2008 to 2014.
In a news release, Schulman said Gingo will assist Schulman's board of directors in the search to identify and vet his successor.
"When I rejoined A. Schulman last August, my mandate was clear — put in place the structure and processes necessary to return the company to the growth trajectory we experienced from 2010 to 2015. I am increasingly confident that after this current reset year, we will be firmly on the right path," Gingo said in a statement.
He added, "As we approach the halfway point of my two-year commitment, it also is important that we execute a thorough and thoughtful leadership transition. To that end, we are starting the process now to find the person who brings the vision, leadership and energy necessary to fully leverage our distinctive expertise, technology and service over the long term."
Schulman said in the release that plans call for Gingo to remain with the company as its executive chairman when a successor is named "to ensure a seamless transition."
The company has some work to do to get back to a growth position.
In April, it reported that net sales for the fiscal 2017 second quarter were $568.7 million, down from $591.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Year-to-date, the company reported consolidated net sales of $1.17 billion in fiscal 2017, down from $1.24 billion in the like period a year earlier.
Gross profit on a GAAP basis in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $89.2 million, compared with $89.8 million in the prior year period. For the first half of fiscal 2017, gross profit on a GAAP basis was $190.2 million, compared with $194.8 million a year ago.
In a news release about the earnings issued on April 4, Gingo said, "We've stated this is a reset year; however, I am highly encouraged with the steady progress we are making through the hard work of our teams. ... While our U.S. and Canada region remains challenged by complex plant consolidation efforts ... I am confident that we have solid action plans in place to drive future profitability."