Web Date: February 14, 2007
Ciba Names New CEO, Sets Innovation Plan
At its annual results conference last week, Ciba Specialty Chemicals announced that Brendan Cummins will become CEO on Jan. 1, 2008.
Cummins, who has served 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. Utz-Hellmuth Felcht, former CEO of Degussa, will join the Ciba board of directors.
At the meeting, Ciba also detailed a new initiative focusing on innovation, which, 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 and sales people that Ciba is putting together 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 investment in external organizations such as research institutes to 20% of R&D spending, up from 5% today. Ciba is also strengthening its network of research laboratories to include a facility in Shanghai that opened in April 2006 and now employs nearly 80 people and a revamped Mumbai operation. An earlier, smaller Mumbai lab concentrated primarily on coatings applications; its mandate has been expanded to serve all the company's business areas throughout India.
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