Ashland Announces Two Senior Leadership Appointments

Oct. 17, 2013 - Ashland Inc. announced that it is realigning senior leadership within two commercial units as part of an ongoing commitment to unlock new value and growth opportunities within its global specialty chemicals businesses. Both moves are effective immediately.

The company said John E. Panichella, 54, Ashland senior vice president, has been named president of Ashland Water Technologies, the $1.7 billion unit serving customers in the pulp and paper and industrial water markets. For the past two years, he had served as president of Ashland Specialty Ingredients.

In his new role, Panichella will be responsible for driving sustained growth and financial improvement within Water Technologies, which has benefitted in the past year from a new strategic plan and a sharpened focus on customers.

Panichella has significant leadership experience in the global water industry, having spent 25 years with General Electric and BetzDearborn, where he served in numerous management positions, including business development, operations management, sales and marketing, and strategic development. His last position at General Electric Water and Process Technologies was vice president and general manager of the Americas business. Before joining General Electric, he served as vice president of the Global Hydrocarbon Processing unit of BetzDearborn.

In addition, the company said Luis Fernandez-Moreno, 51, has been appointed senior vice president of Ashland and president of Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a $2.8 billion global leader in water-soluble and film-forming polymers. Since joining Ashland last November as president of Water Technologies, Fernandez-Moreno has been instrumental in revitalizing that commercial unit. In his new role, Fernandez-Moreno will report to James J. O'Brien, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer.

Fernandez-Moreno brings 30 years of specialty chemicals experience to his new role. Prior to joining Ashland in 2012, Fernandez-Moreno served as executive vice president of Arch Chemicals, Inc., which had annual sales of approximately $1.4 billion prior to its acquisition by Lonza Group Ltd., a leading supplier to the life sciences industry, in October 2011. Before that, he served as business group vice president, Dow Coating Materials, a $3 billion unit that was formed after Dow Chemical Co. acquired Rohm & Haas Co. in 2009. Fernandez-Moreno previously spent more than 25 years with Rohm & Haas in a series of leadership roles spanning across Europe, Latin America and the United States. The businesses he directed ranged from paint and coating materials to plastic additives and printing technologies.

In late July, Ashland announced that it would evaluate strategic options for Water Technologies, including the possible sale of the commercial unit. The company is continuing that review process, with the assistance of Citi.

SOURCE: Ashland Inc.