Kirk, Cooley Eye the Exit


Lubrizol Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Kirk, 61,and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Charles Cooley, 55,will retire within a few weeks of the closing of Berkshire Hathaways $9.7 billion acquisition of the additive giant.

Lubrizol announced the retirements in a June 20 Securities and Exchange Commission filing, adding that Brian A. Valentine, 41, Lubrizols treasurer since 2009, will become chief financial officer on Cooleys retirement. No replacement for Kirk was mentioned.

After serving Lubrizol for more than 40 years, working with some of the best and brightest people in the industry, the time was right for me to retire, Kirk told Lube Report yesterday. Kirk joined Lubrizol as an intern in its co-op program in 1968 and became a full-time employee in 1972.

Asked about his plans, Kirk said, I am going to turn my energy and focus to several nonprofits in Cleveland. I will also try to improve my ailing golf and tennis games.

He continued, We are blessed to work in the lubricants industry because of the outstanding people who work hard, like to have loads of fun, and operate at an extremely high level of integrity. I have many great memories of fun times with friends from Lubrizol and the industry.

Kirk and Cooley will each receive about $9.1 million through company stock options and other equity when the Berkshire deal closes, according to a late March SEC filing. Lubrizol CEO James Hambrick, 56, who is expected to continue tolead the company after the acquisition, will receive over $97 million, and 14 other executives will share another $33 million. Closing is still predicted for the third quarter of this year, although Berkshire and Lubrizol have agreed to push the deadline back to Dec. 31.

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