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Dow CEO Andrew Liveris Given More Time on DowDuPont Board

When Dow Chemical completes its $142bn merger with DuPont, Andrew Liveris will stay on as executive chairman of the combined group until April 2018, the company announced on Thursday, giving him a year longer on the board than previously planned.

Dow, where Mr Liveris has been chief executive since 2004, said he would be executive chairman of the merged DowDuPont from the time the deal closes until April 1 next year. The deal is scheduled to close in August. He is then expected to stay on as chairman until July 1, when he will step down from the board.

The decision gives Mr Liveris an extra year on the board relative to the timetable he set out last year, when he said he planned to leave the company “no later” than the end of the second quarter of 2017.
Mr Liveris’s departure will come as the merged group is broken up. It is intended to be split within 18 months into three companies: one in plastics and related materials, one in agricultural chemicals and seeds, and one in other specialty chemicals.

Jeff Fettig, Dow’s lead independent director and chief executive of Whirlpool, said in a statement:

“Given the complexity, unique structure and Andrew’s role as a key architect of this transaction, the Dow board believes that the continuity of leadership will best serve our shareholders during this critical time of transition. This enables us to achieve the full value-creation promise behind the merger and subsequent intended spins”.

The timetable for the merger has slipped because of delays in securing regulatory approvals. The two companies had originally hoped to complete it by the end of 2016.

In 2014-15 Mr Liveris was strongly criticised by Third Point, the activist investment fund, which accused him of having “broken promise after promise to Dow shareholders” by missing earnings-growth targets.Analysts at Bernstein wrote in a note last month: “Third Point’s original critique of Dow, the Broken Promises, still holds true, and there is no need to allow Mr. Liveris to taint the new DowDupont company.”