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Univar announces CEO succession plan

February 2, 2018
Chemical Value Chain

Univar Inc. a global chemical and ingredient distributor and provider of value-added services, announced today that its board of directors has selected David Jukes as the Company’s president and CEO effective May 9, 2018.

Stephen D. Newlin, the Company’s current Chairman and CEO, will become Executive Chairman of Univar’s board of directors. The Univar board of directors also expects to appoint Jukes to the board at the time of his promotion, which will coincide with the May 9 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.

“I am proud to have served as Univar’s Chairman and CEO during this pivotal period in our Company’s history. Our business transformation is well under way, and we are moving toward becoming a high-performance, innovative, growth company that consistently delivers unsurpassed value for all our stakeholders,” said Newlin.

When appointed CEO in April of 2016, the board of directors asked Mr. Newlin to focus on three key areas. The first was to chart a course for the future by developing a strong global strategic plan. The second was to reverse the downward financial trend by building a culture focused on growth, flawless execution and results. And finally, he was asked to lead the process to find and develop an outstanding CEO successor.

“The Board and I conducted an extensive search, led by a renowned executive search firm. Through this robust process we reviewed numerous external candidates and interviewed several outstanding individuals. As the process continued, it became clear that David is uniquely qualified to lead Univar. He is a 35-year veteran of the chemical distribution industry and has held multiple leadership positions within Univar. He designed and executed a successful go-to-market strategy yielding double-digit growth in EMEA. He is a transformative leader who shares my vision and goals for Univar and has earned the respect of our employees, supplier partners, and customers. He is undeniably the best leader to continue our success.”

William S. Stavropoulos, lead director of Univar’s board said, “We are deeply grateful to Steve for accepting this unplanned responsibility and taking on the role of Chairman and CEO for the last two years. He leveraged his experience, intellect and leadership to achieve the objectives the board gave him, and we are pleased that he will continue to provide support as Executive Chairman of the Board. We are confident that this is the right time to transition responsibility to his successor, and David is the right leader with the right team behind him to continue executing Univar’s strategy and vision.”

Since joining Univar in 2002, Jukes has been recognized for his leadership and business acumen, holding various roles of increasing responsibility. He was named President of Univar EMEA in 2011, and then President of Univar USA and Latin America in 2015. In May of 2017, Jukes was promoted to President and COO of Univar Inc. where he oversees the day-to-day operations of all of Univar’s business segments, including the US, EMEA, Canada and Rest of World. Prior to joining Univar, Jukes was Senior Vice President of global sales, marketing and industry relations for Omnexus, a plastics industry e-commerce platform. In 1991 he joined Ellis & Everard, a chemical distribution company in the UK, ultimately becoming Vice President of corporate development for their polymers division. He currently serves on the board of DCC plc, a £12.3 billion international sales, marketing and support services group that is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and is publicly traded in the UK. Jukes is a graduate of the London Business School.

“I am looking forward to leading Univar, and I am honored that the board of directors has entrusted me with the opportunity to build on the success and profitable growth that Steve has set in motion during his tenure as Chairman and CEO and will support as Executive Chairman,” said Jukes. “Over the last two years, we’ve defined our three strategic priorities, Commercial Greatness, Operational Excellence and working as One Univar. I am committed to these and firmly believe they provide the foundation for growth and high performance that will create tremendous value for our shareholders, employees, customers, and supplier partners.”

Source: Univar Inc.

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