DuPont has announced that its current Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Ellen Kullman, shall be stepping down from her roles as she retires from the job very soon. In fact, Kullman’s retirement will be made effective October 16. During this time, Edward Breen, current member of the DuPont Board of Directors, shall take on the role of DuPont’s Interim Chair and CEO.
Kullman has said that she believes the time has come “for a new leader to continue to drive the pace of change” as the company has spent the last seven years streamlining its organization while leveraging on science and engineering. In fact, just last July, the company announced that it has completed the spin-off of The Chemours Company, which also meant the separation of the Performance Chemicals segment from DuPont. As part of this move, the company’s board had also agreed to let DuPont buy back $2 billion of common stocks by December 31, 2015 and retire them by December 31, 2016.
Kullman has worked for the company of more than 27 years. According to The Wall Street Journal, Kullman, 59, managed to keep billionaire shareholder Nelson Peltz and his Trian Fund Management LP off the company’s board during a shareholder vote in May. However, DuPont’s recent lackluster performance is exactly the excuse that Trian needs in order to gain some seats in the company’s board.
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DuPont’s operating earnings outlook has been revised with the earnings per share for the year expected to be around $2.75 instead of the previously set $3.10 guidance. This is said to be due to currency headwinds and a weakening Brazilian agriculture market. DuPont stock is currently up by 4.1% to $51.28.