New Heads at Houghton


Last month, Houghton International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. MacDonald, Jr. retired from the company following a 40-year tenure. The specialty chemicals manufacturer named Gary Cappeline and Paul DeVivo to succeed him as chairman and chief executive officer, respectively.

My initial personal goal is to add my global management experience to that of the existing team to continue to focus on and to serve the growing global demands of Houghton International customers, DeVivo told Lube Report.

Before assuming his new role as CEO on February 15, DeVivo spent 12 years at Ashland Inc. and prior to that held senior-level positions at the Valspar Corp., Unitor A/S and Drew Chemical Corp.

Taking over as company chairman, Cappeline is a past president and chief operating officer at Ashland and a former senior executive with Allied Signal/Honeywell. He most recently served as managing director with AEA Investors LLC, a New York City-based private equity investment firm that purchased Houghton last year for an undisclosed amount.

Houghton, whose 2007 revenues totaled $467.1 million, said at the time that the buyout would not bring about any immediate changes to its range of product and service offerings, facilities or employment. It also stated then that all of its business operations would continue under the Houghton International name, and senior management members were expected to continue with the company.

The new owners (AEA Investors) intend to expand globally on the strong foundation built under Mr. MacDonalds leadership, DeVivo said.

Houghton,based in Valley Forge, Pa.,is a manufacturer and supplier of industrial fluids and chemical management services.Founded in 1865, the companysupplies the metalworking, automotive and steel industries and other markets withspecialty lubricants, oils and chemicals. Its 1,600 employees are based in 35 countries in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Southwest Asia and the Pacific Rim.

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