Byline: Stuart Chirls

NEW YORK — DuPont’s chairman and its chief executive officer are stepping down, in a reshuffling that will position a new management team under Charles O. (Chad) Holliday Jr., who has been chairman of DuPont Asia/Pacific, to guide the chemical and fiber maker into the next century.
Following a board of directors meeting, chairman Edgar Woolard said he was retiring, effective immediately, but will continue as a member of the board. At the same time, president and ceo John Krol, 61, was named chairman and ceo, but will remain as ceo only until February and will retire as chairman in December 1998.
The board elected Holliday Jr., who, in addition to heading Asia-Pacific operations, is a DuPont executive vice president, to immediately succeed Krol as president. Holliday will add the title of ceo on Feb. 1 and become chairman and ceo with Krol’s retirement.
“[This is] a positive step toward insuring strong leadership in the 21st century and DuPont’s third century,” Krol said in a statement. DuPont will turn 200 years old in 2002.
Holliday, 49, has spent all of his 27-year professional career at DuPont and will become its youngest ceo since 49-year-old Pierre S. DuPont in 1919. He will be the 18th ceo in the firm’s history.
Holliday has held a range of marketing, managing and business assignments, primarily in the fibers and chemicals businesses. Among his posts, he was global business manager for Nomex, a fire-retardant aramid fiber, and global business director for Kevlar, an aramid used for its durability in such applications as tires and bullet-proof vests. He was named a corporate executive vice president and head of Asia-Pacific in 1995 and was elected to the board of directors in 1997.
“We have two near-term priorities,” Holliday said, also in a statement. “Integrating and restructuring our recent acquisitions faster than expected, and delivering strong financial results in 1998. We will continue to drive for at least 10 to 12 percent annual earnings growth so that we achieve our target of a minimum 15 percent annual shareholder return.”
Woolard, 63, joined DuPont in 1957 and worked in production, engineering and management, mostly in fibers. In 1989, he became chairman, and he also served as ceo from 1989 to 1995.
Krol has spent 32 years at DuPont and held various marketing and manufacturing posts in the fibers unit before being named president and ceo in 1995.
Holliday is expected to name his management team within the next several weeks.

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