PolyOne Corp. has changed leadership in its Specialty Engineered Materials unit.
SEM President Craig Nikrant is leaving the Avon Lake, Ohio-based firm to pursue other opportunities. He'll be replaced on an interim basis by Michael Garratt.
Nikrant joined PolyOne in 2006 after 17 years at GE Plastics.
"I'd like to thank Craig for all his contributions to PolyOne over the last 12 years," Chairman, President and CEO Robert Patterson said in an April 30 news release. "He was a catalyst for needed change during the early years of our specialty transformation, and we wish him all the best in the future."
Garratt has more than 27 years of plastics experience, including work with Dow Chemical Co. and Excel Polymers. He joined PolyOne in 2013 as president of its Performance Products & Solutions unit — including Geon-brand PVC compounds — and became PolyOne's Chief Commercial Officer in 2016.
While leading PP&S at PolyOne, Garratt delivered a 15 percent annual increase in operating income, officials said, and led the unit to expand into specialty applications such as LED lighting and medical device housings.
As chief commercial officer, Garratt has overseen the significant expansion of commercial resources within the company, they added.
Garratt "has a proven track record of leading global teams and delivering specialty innovation and growth," Patterson said. "I'm confident he can accelerate the plans and strategic investments we have in place for SEM until a full-time successor is named."
PolyOne's first-quarter SEM sales grew 2.5 percent to $163.1 million, but the unit's operating income slipped 12 percent to $20.1 million. For full-year 2017, SEM sales were up more than 10 percent, but operating income declined almost 4 percent.
In 2017, SEM was the smallest of PolyOne's four operating units, generating 18 percent of total sales. Its product mix includes high-performance compounds based on engineering resins and thermoplastic elastomers.
PolyOne is North America's largest compounder and concentrates maker and one of the region's largest resin distributors, according to Plastics News data. The firm posted full-year sales of $3.2 billion in 2017.