When the company said last Thursday that it was reorganizing its $4.2 billion nylon business, it marked the latest in a string of organizational developments within DuPont Nylon over the past 10 months.
Jerald Blumberg, DuPont's senior vice president who oversees the firm's $6.2 billion fibers business, maintains the reshuffling will make the company's nylon business more efficient and competitive, "and more externally focused."
"This is another move toward our goal of becoming more responsive to our customers," said Blumberg in a telephone interview Friday from DuPont's Wilmington, Del., headquarters.
As reported, DuPont is reorganizing its nylon business into four regional market segments -- North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Under the new structure, one executive in each of the four regions is now responsible for all aspects of that area's nylon operation. Previously, there was a separate executive in charge of each key market for DuPont Nylon in each region.
Gary Pfeiffer has been tapped to run DuPont Nylon North America as vice president and general manager, with responsibility for nylon business in key markets, including apparel, transportation, home furnishings, chemical intermediates, chemical specialties, industrial specialties and technology sales in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The other three regional heads are Henrique H. Ubrig, vice president, DuPont Nylon South America; Alan R. Titus, vice president and managing director, DuPont Nylon Europe, and David W. Colcleugh, vice president and general manager, DuPont Nylon Asia Pacific. "I don't think we can manage a business this big or this complex solely from Wilmington," said Blumberg. "We need to have more accountability in each individual region.
"We feel this move is consistent with the things we've been doing to make DuPont Nylon stronger," Blumberg added.
The past year has been marked by several key developments for DuPont Nylon:
In June, DuPont combined all its fiber operations into one unit. Previously, the fibers operations were split among three units.
July saw DuPont enter the European nylon business when it completed the acquisition of ICI's nylon operations.
In September, the company announced it would cut is global nylon work force by about 2,800. The cutback is still in process and is aimed at bringing DuPont Nylon employment to about 21,000.
Finally, last month, DuPont entered into a joint venture with Fibra, a member of the Vicunha Group in Brazil, to service the South American nylon market. Final agreement is expected later this year.
"We've made great progress over the last year aggressively improving our operational effectiveness and integrating [ICI]," said Blumberg. "This structure provides a fully integrated network that will accelerate our transition into a truly global business."
Other members of what DuPont is calling its Nylon Leadership Team will be John Hesselberth, vice president, technology development; Roger Sharp, vice president, integrated operations, and John Jessup, director, finance and administration. All three had similar nylon posts within the company.
DuPont Nylon also named Diane Gulyas, director, new business development. It is a new post. Most recently, she served as an executive assistant to DuPont's chairman, Edgar Woolard, Jr. Blumberg added that although the recent move will not result in job reduction, "there may be some redeployment within the nylon business. I don't want to lose these people. We need them."
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