Materials manufacturer Ferro’s chief executive officer (CEO), James Kirsch, has stepped down from his position as president and CEO, and resigned from his position on the board.
Peter Thomas, operating vice president of polymer and ceramic engineered materials, has been appointed as the interim president and CEO of the company, while William Lawrence, a member of Ferro’s board, will serve as acting chairman of the board. A third-party firm has been called in to assist in the search for a permanent replacement and will consider both internal and external candidates. No specific details were given for Kirsch’s departure.
Thomas has worked with Ferro since 2000, starting as a director of sales for polymer additives. Since then he has worked in positions of increasing responsibility, including commercial director for performance and fine chemicals and vice president of organic specialities. Before his work with Ferro, Thomas served as VP of the oleochemical-derivatives business unit for Witco, where he was also named president of sales and global market director. Thomas received his BS in chemistry from Duquesne University and an MBA from Loyola College.
William Lawrence commented: “The company is moving aggressively to enhance its return on invested capital. Peter has more than 30 years of experience in the chemicals and materials manufacturing industries and has a track record at Ferro of enhancing value through cost reductions and improved leverage on existing capital. Peter also has led successful growth initiatives at Ferro, including the development of the pigmented inks business for digital tile printing. His experience and achievements led to the board’s decision to select him for this interim position and to consider him a candidate to become the permanent chief executive officer.”