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Air Products Unveils Widespread Reorganization

September 18, 2014
Chemical Value Chain
Air Products Chemicals Inc. said Thursday it would reorganize into seven reporting segments when its new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, months after the company named a new leader following activist pressure.
 
The industrial gases producer in June appointed Seifi Ghasemi chief executive, chairman, and president. Former chairman and CEO John McGlade agreed to step down after pressure from activist investor William Ackman pushed the company to search for a new chief. Mr. Ghasemi and two others were also named to Air Products’s board as independent directors.
 
“Air Products had the industry leadership position 20 years ago and maintains leading market positions in key regions,” Mr. Ghasemi said in a news release. “We will regain that leadership position by first reorganizing our Industrial Gases segment on a geographic basis, and move to a decentralized, simpler, and more efficient structure which creates true profit and loss (P&L) accountability at many levels of the organization.”
 
The industrial gases businesses will comprise four units organized by geography: Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia; and global. The other three segments are focused on materials technologies, energy from waste and corporate operations.
 
Air Products in July posted higher profit and revenue for its fiscal third quarter on higher volumes across its businesses, although its top line fell below analysts’ expectations.
 
The company also narrowed its profit outlook for the year at the time.
 
By Michael Calia
 
Source: Wall Street Journal

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