Plastics and chemicals veteran Peter Vanacker will become CEO of materials giant LyondellBasell Industries next year.
Vanacker currently serves as president and CEO of Neste, a renewable energy firm based in Helsinki. He previously served as CEO of chemicals firm CABB Group and plastic films maker Treofan Group. Vanacker's additional experience includes a stint at Bayer AG — now Covestro — where his roles included leading the firm's global polyurethanes business.
At Houston-based LyondellBasell, Vanacker will replace Bob Patel as CEO by June, officials said in a Dec. 13 news release. Executive Vice President Kenneth Lane will serve as interim CEO during the transition period.
"Peter's outstanding leadership and industry experience made him the board's choice in an exceptional field of candidates who were considered as part of the comprehensive search process," Chairman Jacques Aigrain said in the release.
He added that the board "is confident that [Vanacker's] success in delivering value to shareholders, along with his strategic and forward-thinking mindset, will serve the company well as we continue to drive growth and advance our climate and circularity goals."
Vanacker said in the release that he's "thrilled to join LyondellBasell at such an exciting time for the company."
"I have long admired [LyondellBasell] as an industry leader in technology, product innovation and, more recently, circularity. Pulling from my own experiences, I will strive to build on the company's momentum and work to continue offering great value to shareholders while advancing the company's sustainability goals."
Patel will retire from LyondellBasell on Dec. 31, but will join chemicals firm W.R. Grace & Co. as CEO in January. Patel joined LyondellBasell in 2010 and has served as CEO since 2015. Prior to that, he had spent 20 years with ChevronPhillips Chemical Co. and its predecessor businesses.
LyondellBasell ranks as a global leader in production of polyethylene and polypropylene resins and as North America's largest plastics compounder. The firm has operations in more than 100 countries and posted sales of $27.7 billion in 2020.