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September 16, 2002
Volume 80, Number 37
CENEAR 80 37 p. 7
ISSN 0009-2347


BUSINESS

DOW REARRANGES A KEY PORTFOLIO
A change in strategy will see 'market-facing' businesses dispersed

MICHAEl MCCOY

Dow Chemical is changing the way it approaches its "market-facing" portfolio, a family of high-value, end-market-oriented businesses that the company considers key to its future growth.

8037notw.BobWood
Wood
DOW PHOTO
8037notw.gross
Gross
PHOTO BY MICHAEL MCCOY
In conjunction with the retirement of Ed F. Gambrell, 59, president of the market-facing businesses group, Dow is disbanding the portfolio and giving responsibility to other senior executives.

Dow Automotive, the largest of the market-facing units, with about $1 billion in annual sales, will become part of Dow's thermosets business, headed by Robert L. Wood. The market-facing advanced electronic materials unit, which includes SiLK semiconductor resins and Lumation polymeric light-emitting diodes, will fall under David E. Kepler, Dow's chief information officer and vice president for e-business.

Richard M. Gross, vice president for R&D, will assume responsibility for the new business activities now under Gambrell. These include industrial biotechnology, pharmaceutical technologies, Dow's new business growth board, and its biotechnology steering committee.

A year ago, Gambrell told C&EN that the market-facing businesses were grouped together to nurture capabilities distinct from those needed to run Dow's core commodity businesses (C&EN, June 18, 2001, page 21).

Today, though, company representatives say many of the market-facing business are better established and will benefit from ties to Dow's traditional "asset-based" businesses. Dow Automotive, for example, is a big consumer of polyurethanes made by Wood's thermosets business. And in the case of new business development efforts, Dow expects the shift to Gross's leadership to improve synergy with R&D.



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[C&EN, June 18, 2001]

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