Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Cognis names new head of U.S. operations here

Specialty chemical maker saw world-wide sales slip

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Paul S. Allen, global leader of Cognis Corp.'s nutrition and health business, has been named president of U.S. operations based in Winton Place.

Allen, who has worked for Cognis and its predecessors for 25 years, succeeds Michael Miller, who is retiring after two years leading the specialty chemical maker's North American operations.

Allen, who lives in Indian Hill, reports to Cognis Group CEO Antonio Trius at the company's Dusseldorf, Germany, headquarters.

The company, owned by Permira Funds, GS Capital Partners and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences, also announced that Gregory E. Pflum of West Chester, director of supply chain management, was named to the additional role of chief administrative officer reporting to Allen, who also continues to lead the nutrition and health business.

The changes took effect April 1.

Miller came out of retirement in early 2002 from St. Louis-based Solutia Inc. to head Cognis' North American operations after the company was acquired by an investment group from Germany's Henkel KGaA for about $2.4 billion.

The investment firms said at the time they acquired Cognis they planned to double sales and earnings over five years before taking the company public.

But last year, Cognis said worldwide sales slipped about 6 percent from the previous year to 2.95 billion euros because of the weaker dollar and product prices.

It has cut costs to maintain profit margins, including trimmingits Winton Place headquarters and manufacturing plant from about 800 to 700.

The company, which provides oleochemicals, care, nutrition and health, functional products and process chemicals, employs 8,600 at 64 plants worldwide.


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