Organizational Structure Changes

Monday, 13 June 2011

Michelman Gearing Up For Rapid Growth and Improved Customer Experience

CINCINNATI, OH (June 13, 2011) – Driven by the strategic directive to grow more quickly, more creatively, and more efficiently, while at the same time, improving its customers’ ability to compete and win new business around the globe, Michelman, a global developer of water-based functional coatings, surface modifiers, and polymers, is making substantial changes to its organizational structure. The company is pushing management responsibilities deeper into the organization and closer to its customers, while at the same time, focusing executive’s attention on the development of new technologies, new product solutions, and new markets. The improved structure is designed to optimally support Michelman’s current rapid pace of growth, and enable the company to efficiently explore and quickly embrace opportunities that will ensure aggressive growth into the future.

After years of recruiting strong and talented personnel at all levels of the company, and at all locations around the world, Michelman is now able to promote and adjust personnel from within in most cases, to accomplish its strategic objectives and seamlessly implement these organizational improvements.

Michelman’s corporate structure is broken into four business units (BU): paper & corrugated, flexible packaging, fibers & composites and chemical specialties. Due to the company’s robust management team that has been recruited over the years, four new Global BU Managers have been promoted from within, and will have responsibilities for all aspects of their respective business units. Each will be supported by teams focused on critical areas of the BU - sales, marketing and technology, and will have close contact with customers thereby bringing management decision making closer to the customer, and improving the overall customer experience.

The four new Global BU Managers include Mr. Steve Ruehrwein, who has been promoted to the position of Global Business Unit Manager, Chemical Specialties; Dr. Bruce Berglund, new Global Business Unit Manager, Paper; Dr. Yves De Smet, Global Business Unit Manager, Fibers & Composites; and Mr. Bjarne Ry Schmidt who has been promoted to Global Business Unit Manager, Flexible Packaging.
Additionally, three executives have been repositioned within the organization, and will be responsible for sales, marketing and technology development respectively, across all business units. These moves will allow Michelman to “laser focus” high level management resources on uncompromising customer service and support, as well as the development of new technologies, products, services and markets.

Mr. Marty Riehemann has been named VP/Chief Commercial Officer and will be responsible for the growth and continued improvement of customer satisfaction levels in all four business units. Mr. Riehemann will focus on existing and incoming sales related responsibilities.

Mr. Bob Poletti has been named VP/Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer and will be responsible for corporate wide marketing activities, as well as the exploration and development of new markets and new opportunities. Mr. Poletti will also head a new initiative Michelman calls “Ventures.” Ventures includes acquisitions, joint-ventures, and all non-organic growth of the company.

Dr. Rick Michelman has been appointed VP/Chief Technology Officer, and will be the driving force behind the company’s technology and materials development. Michelman is first and foremost a technology company, and Dr. Michelman’s role in this area is critical to the long term viability of the company. He will also drive new product development activities in the business units, and support the exploration and development of new venture opportunities.

According to Mr. Steve Shifman, Michelman’s President and CEO, “This is an aggressive and exciting strategy that considers the present as well as the future. We have placed a strong focus on the continued development of world-class technology, best-in-class materials and processes, organic growth, and growth through our Ventures initiative. Our plan however, will only be successful if we continue to live up to our brand promise as seen through our customer’s eyes. That is, we must always serve our customers exceedingly well, and be the competitive edge they have come to expect from us.”

About Michelman
Michelman is a global developer of water-based barrier and functional coatings for flexible film packaging, paperboard, and corrugated cartons; and water-based surface modifiers, additives and polymers for numerous industries including wood care, industrial coatings, inks, fibers, composites, and construction products. Michelman serves its multinational and regional customers with production facilities in the U.S., Europe and Singapore, and a worldwide network of highly trained field technical support personnel.