Nordson Corp. recently announced that Sundaram Nagarajan (Naga) has been appointed president and CEO, effective August 1, 2019. He succeeds Michael F. Hilton, who previously announced his plans to retire. Upon Nagarajan’s start date, Hilton will become senior advisor to the company and will remain on the board of directors until he retires on December 31, 2019.

Nagarajan joins Nordson following a 23-year career with Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), serving most recently as executive vice president of the $3.3 billion Automotive OEM segment. Under his leadership, the Automotive OEM segment reportedly has a proven track record of delivering profitable revenue growth through both organic means and acquisitions.

“After a comprehensive search, we are excited to name Naga as Nordson’s next president and CEO,” said Michael Merriman, chairman of the board of directors. “Naga’s passion for technology-driven innovation, knowledge of global industrial markets, and outstanding record of improving the financial results of the businesses he has run by focusing on customer intimacy, operational excellence, and employee development, make him a perfect fit for Nordson.”

“Throughout my career, I’ve thrived in driving growth and profitability by focusing on the customer while also prioritizing innovation and talent development,” said Nagarajan. “I am very honored to join Nordson, which has always put its customers and employees first, and as a result has grown into a market-leading enterprise with an outstanding reputation. I look forward to building on this success with the Nordson team.”

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Mike Hilton for his outstanding leadership of Nordson over the past 10 years,” said Merriman. “We appreciate his commitment to supporting Naga in this important transition, and the board and I look forward to his counsel as senior advisor to the company.”

Nagarajan started his career in 1991 at Hobart Brothers, where he was engaged in the design and development of welding consumables. The company was acquired by ITW in 1996, and Nagarajan continued to grow and take on greater responsibility over the next 23 years. He was promoted to group vice president for the ITW Welding Group in 2006 and group president of Welding International in 2008. From 2010-2014, he served as executive vice president, Welding, where he led ITW’s $1.9 billion group of welding and related industrial businesses worldwide. He was promoted to his current role in 2015.

Nagarajan holds a bachelor’s of science degree from South Gujarat University, an MBA from Wright State University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in materials science from Auburn University. He is a member of the board of directors of Sonoco Products Co., past trustee of Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, advisory board member of IACS, member of the Executive Club, member of the Economics Club of Chicago, former trustee of AWS Foundation Inc., and co-chair of ITW’s National United Way Campaign (2013 and 2014).

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