A. Schulman announces executive changes, option to extend CEO's contract

14:10 PM | April 4, 2013 | Lindsay Frost

A. Schulman announced several management changes, including an agreement with current CEO Joseph Gringo that would extend his employment for up to two years in the event of a “transformational acquisition in the specialty chemical space,” such as the proposed Ferro takeover, the company says. Also, Bernard Rzepka, who most recently served as v.p. and general manager of Europe, Mideast, and Africa, has been promoted to the role of executive v.p. and COO, effective immediately. Heinrich Lingnau will replace Rzepka—though keeping his current responsibilities for now as masterbatch solutions business unit leader.

In the newly created global COO position, Rzepka will implement corporate strategy and growth plans within the global operations organization and further improve the company’s procurement and marketing organizations, Schulman says. Rzepka spent five years with ICI Advanced Materials before joining Schulman in 1992, and held a variety of technical and commercial management positions before this new role. Lingnau was with DuPont for 11 years before joining Schulman in 1999, when he began as an engineered plastics leader before transitioning into various leadership positions in Europe.

A. Schulman announced an unsolicited offer to acquire Ferro for $6.50/share, or $855 million, in early March.