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Change at the top for Princeton chemical company

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Seifi Ghasemi resigned as the CEO of Rockwood Holdings Inc.
Seifi Ghasemi resigned as the CEO of Rockwood Holdings Inc. - ()

The chief executive of a Princeton-based specialty chemicals maker was named the chairman, CEO and president of Air Products on Wednesday, the company announced.

Seifi Ghasemi resigned as the CEO of Rockwood Holdings Inc., though he will remain chairman of the board of directors through Jan. 1 and will remain on the board as a director after that, Rockwood said in a news release.

Rockwood named Robert J. Zatta, the company’s chief financial officer, as acting CEO, effective July 1.

"Bob is a highly skilled leader who has served as Rockwood's CFO for more than 13 years,” Douglas L. Maine, lead independent director of Rockwood's board, said in its release. “His deep knowledge of the company and his significant strategic, operational, international and financial experience make him an excellent choice to guide Rockwood through this transition. … The Rockwood board of directors will initiate a search process to identify a permanent CEO, which will include Bob and other candidates."

Ghasemi, who had served as a member of the Air Products board of directors, will take the reins of the specialty gas and technology company effective July 1, according to an Air Products news release. He will succeed John E. McGlade, who is retiring June 30 after almost 40 years with the company.
“Seifi is a highly respected and dynamic leader with a strong track record of delivering superior shareholder returns and financial performance,” Evert Henkes, presiding director of the Air Products board, said in the release. “Air Products has benefited greatly from his insights and guidance on the board, and we are pleased that his significant skills will continue to benefit Air Products’ employees, shareholders, customers and communities as he works to accelerate the momentum in our business.”

Rockwood also said in its statement that Thomas J. Riordan, senior vice president, law & administration, and corporate secretary, has been named executive vice president and chief administrative officer.


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