Nova Chemicals CEO exits after failing to reach agreement on contract

17:59 PM | May 1, 2014 | Robert Westervelt

Nova Chemicals CEO Randy Woelfel has left the company after failing to reach agreement on a contract extension, a company official says. Nova has named CFO Todd Karran as acting CEO and has started the search for a permanent replacement. The search will include internal and external candidates, Nova says.

Karran said on Nova’s first-quarter earnings investor call today that Woelfel and the board were “unable to come to mutually satisfactory agreement on a contract extension.” Woelfel joined Nova as CEO in November 2009, and previously held senior management positions at Shell, Basell and Cereplast. Karran was named Nova CFO in June 2010 and has been with Nova since 1985. International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC; Abu Dhabi), owned by the Abu Dhabi government, acquired Nova in July 2009.

“The board of and Mr. Woelfel felt that this was the time for Randy to move onto new challenges and to make a leadership change at Nova Chemicals,” says Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Nova Chemicals chairman and IPIC managing director. “IPIC is a proud owner with a long-term view for Nova, which has made tremendous progress on its strategic goals since IPIC acquired Nova and began to implement its transformational strategy.”

Nova Chemical today reported first quarter profit of $245 million, up 32% year-over-year (YOY) on gains in the olefins/polyolefins business unit. Sales totaled $1.38 billion, up 10% YOY.