BEACHWOOD, OH – OMNOVA Solutions Inc. announced that it is moving forward with its CEO succession process, and Kevin M. McMullen is stepping down as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, and as a member of the board of directors, effective December 1, 2016, to pursue other interests. In over 16 years leading the company, McMullen succeeded in repositioning OMNOVA as a leader in specialty chemicals and engineered surfaces, including aggressive portfolio actions highlighted by the acquisition of Eliokem International.
Anne P. Noonan will succeed McMullen as OMNOVA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1, 2016. Noonan will also be appointed to the company's board of directors. In connection with this leadership transition, the board of directors has determined to separate the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles, electing William R. Seelbach as the company's independent, non-executive Chairman, also effective December 1, 2016.
A predominately U.S.-based company when he took charge, McMullen led OMNOVA's transformation into a global enterprise. Today, OMNOVA products are sold in over 90 countries around the world, supported by manufacturing and technology centers on three continents. He drove initiatives to dramatically expand the breadth of OMNOVA's technology to significantly enhance its position as a value-added solutions provider.
Noonan is currently the President of OMNOVA’s Performance Chemicals business. Under her leadership, the segment has significantly improved financial results through aggressive implementation of a manufacturing footprint alignment and business model restructuring, delivering cost reductions in excess of $10 million per year while establishing a cost-competitive blueprint for future specialty growth. Additionally, through a focus on innovation and commercial excellence, a foundation has been established to accelerate specialty growth with accomplished market-specialized talent and a reinvigorated innovation pipeline.
“We are confident Anne will continue to drive enhanced value for shareholders. Anne is an accomplished executive with deep knowledge of the chemicals industry and OMNOVA,” Merriman said. “She has a proven record of transformational change and improving performance through her leadership, customer focus and emphasis on value creation. We are pleased she has agreed to lead OMNOVA, and we look forward to the contributions she will make to the company and the board."
Noonan brings nearly 30 years of experience in the chemicals industry. Prior to joining OMNOVA in 2014, Noonan served as Senior Vice President and President of Chemtura Corp.’s Industrial Engineered Products business segment with over $1 billion in revenues. During her 27 years with Chemtura and its predecessor, Great Lakes Chemical Corp., Noonan served in roles of increasing responsibility in mergers and acquisitions, strategic business development, marketing, sales, and technology. She began her career as an Analytical Research Chemist with McNeil Specialty Chemicals Co. and Squibb-Linson Co. Since 2015, Noonan has been a member of the board of directors of CF Industries and the board of directors of the American Chemistry Council.
Seelbach will succeed McMullen as OMNOVA’s Chairman. He has been a non-executive member of the OMNOVA Board of Directors since 2002. Seelbach is a Senior Advisor with the Riverside Co., a private equity firm focused on investing in companies at the smaller end of the middle market, and a Senior Managing Director of Headwaters SC, a consulting firm for privately owned businesses.