Air Products CEO McGlade to Retire, Adds Three New Directors
By Nathalie Tadena
Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD) said Chairman and Chief Executive John McGlade will retire next year and the
company will add three new independent directors to its board, moves that come about two months after activist investor
William Ackman took a multibillion dollar stake in the industrial gas maker.
The company will commence a search for a new CEO, led by a newly formed search committee of the board. Mr. McGlade
will continue to serve as chairman and CEO during the search process and then as chairman for an agreed-upon transition
period in 2014. The incoming CEO will also join the board.
"We have had a constructive dialogue with Pershing Square, our largest shareholder, and are pleased they are
supportive of the actions our board is announcing today for the benefit of all Air Products shareholders," Mr. McGlade
In late July, Mr. Ackman's Pershing Square Captial Management LP bought a 9.8% stake in the company, drawing attention
to a large but little-understood company that has been struggling with sliding profits as natural gas becomes more
expensive. A few days prior to the purchase, Air Products disclosed it had installed a so-called poison pill--a strategy
used by corporations to discourage hostile takeovers--because of "unusual and substantial activity" in the company's
"We invested in Air Products because it is a great business in an industry with excellent long-term prospects," Mr.
Ackman said in Thursday's statement. "In recent weeks, we have been delighted to get to know John and the rest of the
board working with them on their mission of continuous improvement and long-term shareholder value creation."
The three new independent directors--Seifi Ghasemi, Edward L. Monser and Matthew Paull--will join the board
immediately and three curent Air Products directors will retire prior to the 2014 annual meeting.
Air Products, led by led by Mr. McGlade since 2007, produces chemical ingredients for antifreeze, rocket fuel,
semiconductors and food among a host of other goods. It also builds large gas-supply plants that provide manufacturers
with oxygen, hydrogen and other gases. It uses natural gas both in its products and as a fuel to power its facilities.
Like other chemical makers, Air Products is seeing its costs rise as natural-gas prices--which plummeted in the U.S.
due to the fracking boom--slowly bounce back after reaching decade lows a year ago.
Shares closed at $107.32 and were inactive premarket. Through the close, the stock is up 28% since the start of the
Write to Nathalie Tadena at email@example.com
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