New plastics division part of strategic shift towards high-end products - Dow
The newly formed unit will contain all the US-based company’s plastics operations – including Films and Packaging Resins and the Packaging and Converting Unit that is currently part of the Advanced Materials.
“There will be no immediate change for our customers,” Dow spokesman Bob Plishka told FoodProductionDaily.com. “We have combined these business units because there is a lot of commonality across the technology platforms.”
The spokesman said it was too early to give details of the precise outputs that the company hoped the new unit would produce. But he added that it would likely be boosted by technology acquired from the takeover of Rohm and Haas, completed in Mach 2009.
High value solutions
Its focus will be on high value market driven solutions in applications such as packaging, food, hygiene and telecommunications, said Dow.
It added: “The Division’s formation reflects Dow's active portfolio management over the last two years that has resulted in the de-emphasis of its commodity plastics products, especially following the divestment of Styron.”
Howard Ungerleider, who was previously vice president for Investor Relations, has been named as president of the new unit. He will report directly to Dow chair and CEO Andrew Liveris.
Market and tech driven
The announcement is part of a corporate shake up at the company; Jim Fitterling, head of the Hydrocarbons Divisional, has also been given responsibility for Corporate Development; the Chlorinated Solvents business will move to the Performance Products and Systems Division and report to init head Juan Luciano.
Dow said will now have six business divisions – four of which will be “driven by markets and technology”. As well as Performance Plastics, these include Dow Agrosciences, Advanced Materials, Performance Products and Systems.
The other two units - Chemicals and Energy, and Hydrocarbons – will be driven by “assets and feedstocks”, it added.
The strategic move was designed to help the company diversify its portfolio of advanced materials, said Liveris.
“Our Performance Plastics Division will have a technology, market-driven approach to intensely focus on downstream markets such as packaging, health & hygiene and food applications while we continue to optimize the commodity side of our plastics businesses,” he added. “This division is positioned for further growth and market leadership in Dow's revitalized portfolio.”