December 22, 2003
Volume 81, Number 51
CENEAR 81 51 p. 10
ISSN 0009-2347


CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

ACC RESTRUCTURES
Trade group will cut staff and budget and focus on fewer areas

WILLIAM STORCK

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is restructuring to narrow its focus to four areas: products and health, energy, security, and the environment. In the process, 43 of the trade association's 191 staff positions are being eliminated.

In addition, in 2005 and 2006, ACC plans to reduce its staff by another 10%. It will also cut its 2004 budget by 20%.

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Lebedev
ACC PHOTO
CEO Greg Lebedev says the reorganization was spurred by two considerations: chemical industry economics and increased involvement in public policy. "Industry economics," he says, "are changing dramatically, whether you're talking about the maturation of the industry or the high cost of energy. At the same time, the array of public policy challenges is also growing, whether it be chemical security, a set of international issues such as REACH [the European Commission's Registration, Evaluation & Authorization of Chemicals initiative], or public health."

He says the new structure is not a response to the resignation of companies from ACC. Huntsman, Chevron Phillips, Lyondell Chemical, PolyOne, Noveon, and Velsicol Chemical have left ACC.

"The fact that we lost a couple of companies is reflective of one of the two conditions that essentially drove us to the internal review--the state of industry economics," he says. "I respect that members have to make decisions about their companies' well-being. I can do nothing but wish them well and hope they will come back when conditions improve."

Lebedev says restructuring into the four areas makes ACC "a very nimble, focused, and flexible organization to respond not only to some existing public policy challenges, but also to a great many issues that are going to be emerging over time."



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