Dupont announced that its Chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman will retire from the company on October 16. The company’s board member, Edward Breen will temporarily assume her position.
The board of directors of Dupont already engaged the services of an executive recruitment team to find a full-time executive to replace Kullman as permanent Chairman and CEO.
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In a statement, Kullman said, “Over the past seven years, with the dedication of our entire team, we have transformed this great company by focusing our portfolio, streamlining the organization, and driving innovation that leverages our unique science and engineering capabilities.”
According to her, now is the right time for a new leader to continue to drive Dupont’s transformation. Kullman said the company has a strong foundation, and the new leader can capitalize fully on its opportunities ahead.
Breen is well-suited to lead Dupont
On the other hand, Dupont’s lead independent director, Alexander Cutler expressed gratitude to Kullman for her extraordinary leadership as Chairman and CEO of the company for more than 27 years.
“Ellen has consistently led constructive change by focusing the organization on identifying and solving our customers’ needs. As our Chair and CEO, Ellen led DuPont through the global recession and the dramatic transformation of the last several years with the highest standard of integrity and commitment,” said Cutler.
Concerning the appointment of Breen as interim Chairman and CEO, Cutler said he is well-suited to lead Dupont given his record of achievement and broad experience.
Dupont operating earnings outlook
Dupont also updated its operating earnings outlook today. The company is now expecting to achieve full-year operating earnings or around $2.75 per share lower than its previous guidance of $3.10 per share.
According to the company, its current outlook was based on its assumption of full-year currency impacts of $0.72 pers share compared to its previous expectation of approximately $0.60 per share.
For the second-half of the year, Dupont expects to deliver operating earnings of approximately $0.40 per share, lower than its previous guidance if $0.75 per share. The company said it will earn around 25% of its expected second-half operating earnings in the third quarter.
Dupont said the demand for crop protection and seed products weakened further in the third quarter primarily in Brazil. Farmers in the country became cautious in their spending because of tighter profit margins and credit.
The company continues to be impacted by the strength of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of emerging markets. The Brazilian Real fell more than 60% year-over-year and 20% since Dupont reported its second-quarter results.
Dupont CFO Nick Fanandakis said, “As macro conditions have deteriorated further, we are intensifying our effort to offset these pressures with further productivity improvements and cost savings, while making disciplined and targeted investments in innovation to increase value for shareholders over the long term.”