At its annual results conference last week, Ciba Specialty Chemicals announced that Brendan Cummins will become CEO on Jan. 1, 2008. Cummins, who now serves as chief operating officer of the company, takes over the post from Armin Meyer, the current CEO and chairman of the board. Meyer will remain chairman. At the meeting, Ciba also detailed a new initiative focusing on innovation that, according to Chief Technology Officer Martin Riediker, "is a fundamental change in our company." Among the program's features are teams of researchers and marketing people that Ciba is assembling to reassess its R&D projects and focus them on areas of high development potential. In addition, the company will be increasing its venture funding and its investment in external organizations such as research institutes to 20% of R&D spending from 5% today.