Lee Mitau, chairman of the board, stated, "On behalf of the board, I extend our thanks to Michele. We appreciate his more than eight years of service to H.B. Fuller, the last four as president and CEO. During his tenure, Michele defined a new strategic direction, managed the company through the global recession and led the company’s recent investments in talent, customer facing organizations and technology. We wish Michele the best going forward."
Mr. Mitau continued, "The board is pleased to appoint Jim Owens as president and chief executive officer. Owens has successfully managed the largest region of this company and his transition into the CEO role is a natural progression for him. His 24 years of industry experience and a track record of proven results uniquely positions him to be successful. We’re confident that in his new role the company will benefit greatly from his capabilities, knowledge and experience."
Mr. Owens, who had been H.B. Fuller’s senior vice president, Americas, joined the company in 2008. Previously, Mr. Owens spent 22 years with National Starch’s adhesives business, a division of ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries Limited) in a variety of management positions, including vice president and general manager, Europe/Middle East and Africa; corporate vice president and general manager of the North American adhesives business; business director for the pressure sensitive and laminating adhesives businesses; marketing manager; and technical services manager. He has served on the board of the Adhesives and Sealants Council for the past seven years, most recently as chairman.
Mr. Owens has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and a master’s in business administration from the Wharton Business School.