Ashland Global Holdings Inc. recently announced that its board of directors has elected Guillermo Novo chairman and CEO of Ashland, effective December 31, 2019. William A. Wulfsohn will continue to serve as chairman and CEO through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition. Following Wulfsohn’s departure from Ashland, the board will be composed of 10 members, nine of whom are independent.

According to Ashland, Novo is an accomplished industry executive, bringing more than three decades of specialty materials experience to his role. From 2016-2019, he served as president and CEO of Versum Materials. He worked at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. from 2012-2016, most recently as executive vice president of Materials Technologies. Prior to joining Air Products and Chemicals, Novo worked at Dow Chemical Co., where he served as group vice president for Dow Coating Materials. Earlier in his career, he progressed through a variety of commercial, marketing, and management positions over the course of 24 years with Dow and Rohm and Haas. In May 2019, he was elected to the Ashland board.

“Guillermo’s election represents the completion of a comprehensive and thoughtful assessment by the board regarding the right qualities and experience for the next leader of Ashland,” said Jay Ihlenfeld, lead independent director of Ashland. “Guillermo is a seasoned executive who is exceptionally positioned to lead our company and enhance shareholder value given his deep knowledge of the specialty materials space as well as his years of global leadership and operations experience. Having joined Ashland’s board in May, Guillermo is ready to hit the ground running, and we are confident that Bill and Guillermo working closely together will ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities for all of our stakeholders.

“The company has benefited from Bill’s leadership and expertise and we are grateful for his service and contributions toward enhancing shareholder value. As a result, Ashland is now well-positioned with a singular focus on the attractive specialty chemicals market. We thank Bill and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

“It has been a great privilege to lead Ashland over the past five years, and I am proud of what we have accomplished,” said Wulfsohn. “With the support of our hard-working and dedicated team, we have taken aggressive actions to transform Ashland into a leading specialty chemicals company. I believe that it’s the right time to transition the company to new leadership, and I am confident that Guillermo will continue to propel Ashland forward.”

“I am honored to succeed Bill as Ashland’s next CEO and am excited about the opportunity,” said Novo. “Today, Ashland has a great business, a clear strategy and a strong team focused on driving results and building on our momentum as an industry leader. I look forward to continuing to work with the board, our experienced management, and all of our team members to advance Ashland’s strategy and create value for our customers and shareholders.”

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