INDUSTRY MOVES: People in the news

This is the latest entry in a regular series hosted on the HPInformer blog. With People in the news, we keep tabs on the movers and shakers in the HPI. If you know someone that just got promoted or are trying to get word out about new leadership at your company, let us know! Send an email with all the pertinent details to

France-based energy major Total named Patrick Pouyanne as president of its chemicals division and an executive committee member, effective January 1, 2012.

Pouyanne will also become president of the company’s new refining and chemicals business once a consultation process has concluded.

Francois Cornelis will be stepping down from his roles as president of chemicals and vice chairman of the committee.

The move came amid a reshuffling of Total’s downstream businesses. The company is separating manufacturing from supply and marketing while retaining an integrated structure, it said.

Philippe Boisseau was appointed president of refining and marketing, and will also be a member of the executive committee and president of the new supply and marketing business.

Meanwhile, Yves-Louis Darricarrere will serve as president of gas and power. That will be in addition to his current role as president of exploration and production and membership on the executive committee.

Matt Fox will become the executive vice president of exploration and production (E&P) for the new ConocoPhillips, which will be a pure-play E&P company following its downstream spinoff.

Alan Hirshberg will take over as executive vice president of technology and projects for the US-based company, while Don Wallette will be executive vice president for business development and commercial operations.

On the downstream Phillips 66 side, Lawrence Ziemba will become executive vice president of refining, where he will be responsible for major projects and procurement.

Houston-based Chevron Phillips Chemical says chief operating officer Timothy Taylor and executive vice president of olefins and polyolefins Mark Haney will each retire on December 31.

Haney will be succeeded by Mark Lashier, who currently serves as senior vice president of specialties, aromatics and styrenics for the company.

Taylor’s position will not be filled.

Meanwhile, Dan Coombs will take the place of Lashier in his former position of senior vice president of specialties, aromatics and styrenics.

Coombs was vice president of corporate planning and development, where he will be replaced by Ron Corn. Corn had worked as vice president of olefins and natural gas liquids (NGL).

David Smith will then take over that role for Corn. Smith was previously vice president for polyethylene (PE).

Chevron Phillips Chemical is the 50:50 joint venture between Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Canada oil sands major Suncor Energy says current chief operating officer Steve Williams will take over as the company’s CEO in May 2012.

Williams will succeed current CEO Rick George, who plans to retire in 2012.

US-based polyvinyl chloride major Georgia Gulf has hired Jim Hull as vice president of manufacturing for its chemicals operations.

Hull will be based in Plaquemine, Louisiana, and oversee the company’s plants in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Ontario, Canada.

Hull most recently worked as a plant manager at Honeywell’s facility in Geismar, Louisiana.

US-based chemicals major DuPont appointed Rajeev Vaidya as president of South Asia (including India), effective December 15.

Vaidya was previously managing director of DuPont’s chemicals and fluoroproducts in Asia. He takes over from Balvinder Kalsi, who transferred to DuPont’s headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, to work on corporate strategy.

California-based MBA Polymers named Nigel Hunton as its CEO, effective January 2, 2012.

Hunton had worked as CEO of vacuum technology group Edwards Limited. He succeeds Richard McCombs, who will remain a member of MBA’s board of directors.

Automation industry veteran Roy Kok has joined global research firm ARC Advisory Group as vice president of marketing.

In the new role, Kok will be responsible for all corporate marketing including positioning, messaging and outreach, the company said.

Kok previously served at companies including GE, Intellution, VenturCom, and Kepware in marketing, sales and product management roles.

Mark Venske has joined PAC as vice president of sales and support for the Americas.

Venske has over 30 years of experience in engineering, sales and customer support from Spectra Tech Applied System and Varian, which was acquired by Agilent in 2010.

PAC describes itself as a global provider of advanced analytical instruments for laboratories and online process applications. It serves industries including refining, petrochemicals and biofuels.

US-based Anvil International promoted Brandon Gunnell to director of marketing. His prior post was as regional sales manager for the western US.

Gunnell has been with Anvil for over 10 years. In his new role, he will manage the global marketing of the company’s complete product line.

Anvil, a subsidiary of North American water infrastructure products and services firm Mueller Water Products, describes itself as one of the largest and most complete global manufacturers of pipe fittings, pipe hangers and piping support systems.

Los Angeles-based Origin Oil announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas H. Ulrich to its board of advisors.

Dr. Ulrich was most recently an Idaho National Laboratory advisory scientist and worked closely with OriginOil to establish a strategic partnership between the laboratory and OriginOil.

OriginOil specializes in what it says is a breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae.

Raimar Jahn was named president of the polyurethanes (PU) division for BASF effective March 1, 2012.

Jahn, who is currently head of BASF’s coatings division, will succeed Wayne Smith, who will move to the company’s board of directors.

Markus Kamieth will replace Jahn as head of the coatings division. He currently works as senior vice president of performance chemicals for North America.

Germany-based adhesives firm Henkel says that Carsten Knobel will take over as its chief financial officer (CFO) in July 2012.

Knobel will succeed Lothar Steinebach, who is retiring at the end of June 2012. Knobel currently serves as director of Henkel’s cosmetics and toiletries business.

US-based renewable chemicals group Cobalt Technologies named Bob Mayer as CEO and chairman of its board of directors.

Mayer formerly worked as executive vice president of Danish specialty food ingredients firm Danisco, which was acquired by DuPont this year.

Mayer follows Rick Wilson as Cobalt CEO and John Hamer as chairman.

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