Joseph Gingo replaces Bernard Rzepka as A. Schulman CEO

A. Schulman, which bought Citadel Plastics in 2015, is under-performing and ousted Rzepka to right the ship. Gingo was CEO from 2008 through 2014.

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The Board of Directors of A. Schulman Inc. (Akron, OH, US) on Aug. 18 announced that chairman Joseph M. Gingo has been named chief executive officer and president, effective immediately. Gingo (71) had previously served in this capacity from 2008 through 2014. The Board and Bernard Rzepka (56), president and chief executive officer, have mutually agreed that he will relinquish his officer role and his directorship role.

"Joe led this company through a remarkable seven­-year renaissance as its chief executive officer and the Board is confident that he will restore A. Schulman's operational and financial performance to the high level our shareholders expect," says David Birney, lead independent director. "We thank Bernard for his dedicated service to A. Schulman during the last 24 years. His many contributions throughout his career with the company should not be overlooked or minimized in light of this transition."

According to Gingo, the company will undertake a comprehensive review of its business plan, as well as near­ and longer-­term global end market trends. The company intends to retain a leading advisory firm to assist in this review process.

"Like our fellow shareholders, the Board is not satisfied with the company's less-­than-­optimal performance throughout fiscal 2016," says Gingo. "In light of last week's earnings guidance revision, the time has come to conduct a comprehensive review of our business plan and strategic execution."

Gingo adds that he is committed to conducting a deliberate and unvarnished assessment as promptly as practical: "Our intent is to provide additional information on our review as appropriate, when appropriate. We will not, however, speculate on any potential outcomes from this assessment or the timetable for it. The goal is to verify our market intelligence, refine our vision and improve our execution."

A. Schulman, in 2015, acquired Citadel Plastics Holdings Inc. (West Chicago, IL, US), which owned, among other firms, The Composites Group (TCG, Cleveland, OH, US). TCG itself was a rollup, consisting of Premix Inc., Hadlock Plastics and Quantum Composites. The Wall Street Journal reported in June 2016 that A. Schulman was investigating possible misrepresentation of product quality at some of the plants acquired in the Citadel acquisition. According the the report, "Schulman has filed a complaint against the sellers and former executives of Citadel and its subsidiary Lucent to recoup its losses." It is unclear whether and how the Citadel acquisition impacted A. Schulman's decision to part ways with Rzepka.