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Bottle maker Owens-Illinois names new CEO

October 21, 2015
Chemical Value Chain

Owens-Illinois Inc., one of the world’s largest glass-bottle makers, has promoted its chief operating officer to chief executive as it tries to revamp sales amid falling global demand.

Andres Lopez, who led negotiations that resulted in the company’s $2.15 billion acquisition of Vitro S.A.B. de C.V.’s food and beverage glass-container business, is set to succeed Chief Executive Al Stroucken on Jan. 1. The company named him as COO in December.

Mr. Stroucken, who took the company’s reins in 2006, led its exit of the plastic business and global expansion focusing on glass bottles.

Under Mr. Stroucken, Owens-Illinois cut costs, shed noncore businesses and lodged itself into China’s fast-growing market. But global demand for glass bottles crashed, as mass-market brewers put more of their beer in cans, Europe’s economy sputtered, and China’s growth slowed.

Mr. Stroucken will stay on as executive chairman through May, when the Perrysburg, Ohio, company will hold its annual shareholder meeting. In a regulatory filing, Owens-Illinois said Mr. Stroucken’s pay will remain unchanged other than to prorate annual compensation to reflect that his contract is slated to end on June 30. In 2014, Mr. Stroucken’s total compensation was valued at $9 million, including a base salary of $1.1 million.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lopez’s base salary was set at $850,000. The 53-year-old is also eligible for bonus pay and other perks, including personal use of the company’s aircraft for up to 50 hours a year.

For the first six months of the year, the most recent results available, the company reported profit from continuing operations fell to $113 million on $2.96 billion in net sales, compared with $236 million in profit and $3.44 billion in sales in the year-earlier period.

By Maria Armental

Source: Wall Street Journal

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