Eastman Chemical Co. has announced its board of directors has appointed executive vice president Mark J. Costa president effective immediately and CEO effective January 1, 2014. The board also appointed Costa to serve as a director, effective immediately, until the Annual Meeting of Stockholders in 2014.
James P. Rogers will continue to serve as chairman and CEO until January 1, 2014. He will then serve as executive chairman of the board. According to a statement from Eastman the transition is part of the board’s normal succession planning process.
“Being CEO of Eastman has been a great honor and truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Rogers says. “I am proud of what the entire Eastman team has accomplished over the past several years, and I have complete confidence that the company is well positioned to continue delivering consistent, superior value to our stockholders.
“I am pleased to pass the reins to Mark and our talented team of executives,” Rogers continues. “Mark is a proven leader who has been instrumental in developing and executing Eastman’s strategic plans for growth. I look forward to my continued service as executive chairman and to working with Mark to ensure a seamless transition.”
“I am honored to have been selected by the board of directors to lead Eastman as the next CEO and as a director,” says Costa. “I personally want to thank Jim for all that he has done for Eastman and for his incredible example of real leadership. I especially appreciate the opportunity to continue working with executive vice president Ron Lindsay and the rest of the executive team as we implement Eastman’s growth strategy.”
Costa currently heads the company’s Additives and Functional Products and Advanced Materials segments. He also serves as chief marketing officer and has responsibility for the company’s corporate innovation organization.
Speaking on behalf of Eastman’s board of directors, lead director Stephen R. Demeritt says, “Jim has courageously led Eastman through a time of tremendous change and we could not be more pleased with what he has accomplished as CEO. We look forward to his continuing contributions as executive chairman of the board.
“Eastman is fortunate to have a senior leadership team of incredible breadth and depth,” adds Demeritt. “We have tremendous confidence in Mark and the rest of Eastman’s executives to execute the company’s plans for growth and take Eastman to even greater success.”
As for growth in the window film and interlayer sectors of the company, Rogers and Costa both say they foresee further progress.
“Mark is going to be better than me at driving the organic growth,” says Rogers. “He’s very good at … developing products. Over the next few years, organic growth is going to be extremely important. That plays right to his strength … Mark was a leader in the acquisition of Solutia.”
“The integration [of Solutia] is going much better than I expected,” says Costa. “We’re seeing a number of opportunities to accelerate performance … especially in interlayers and performance films. We’re continuing to find significant gains from performance films.”