Ceramic Industry News

Corning Realigns Environmental Technologies Segment (posted 8/5/09)

Corning Inc. recently announced its plan to consolidate its Environmental Technologies segment into a leaner and more efficient organization while aligning the business to a smaller global automotive market and North American trucking industry. The reorganization will consolidate the management structure of two divisional operations into one integrated business unit. It is expected that the streamlined organization will reduce costs, increase manufacturing efficiencies and enable Corning to better meet the innovation needs of customers.

“The near-term outlook for growth in the emissions control products markets is much different than we thought even a year ago, so we must adjust our organization to reflect these new business dynamics,” said Peter F. Volanakis, president and chief operating officer. “The pace of regulation is also driving the need for constant product innovation, so we are increasing our agility to respond with new products that solve our customers’ emissions-control needs.”

Volanakis noted that the global auto industry is currently building 20% fewer light-duty vehicles (automobiles) than it did in 2007; in the U.S., the drop over the same time period is 40%. The heavy-duty market (trucks and buses) has been impacted at similar rates, with the recession severely contracting construction, delivery of goods, and other freight-hauling activities that create opportunities for Corning’s diesel filters and substrates.

“We now believe that our near-term Environmental Technologies revenue opportunity is 20% to 30% lower than we had planned when we built the organization,” said Volanakis. “So we must realign the organization to scale our costs appropriately.”

The new organization will be led by Thomas R. Hinman, senior vice president and general manager of Environmental Technologies. Reporting to Hinman in the new streamlined management team will be:
  • Andrew M. Filson, commercial business director, responsible for leading global sales and marketing for all environmental products
  • Willard A. Cutler, technology director, responsible for all Environmental Technologies development and innovation programs
  • Will Schirmer, engineering director, responsible for institutionalizing best-practice manufacturing and engineering processes
  • Deborah A. Mays, division human resource manager
  • Joseph Monastra, division vice president and manufacturing manager
  • James N. Nagel, division vice president, Commercial Technology and Strategy
  • Gary L. Wallace, division controller
“We remain confident in the market for our emissions control products and in Corning’s ongoing market and technology leadership,” said Hinman. “In particular, diesel remains an attractive growth opportunity for Corning. However, we don’t expect to see a return to more normal automotive or truck vehicle production levels until at least 2011 or 2012. In the meantime, we are realigning our business to be able to take advantage of the market growth when it returns.”

Over the next several weeks, the new management team will identify and implement organizational efficiencies to reduce layers of management; improve Corning’s commercial delivery effectiveness, manufacturing operations and technology delivery; and eliminate redundancies in the organization. Their goal is to reduce fixed costs by approximately 20%, including headcount reductions in Environmental Technologies and supporting corporate technology groups. Corning expects to be able to communicate the details of the new organization and the cost reduction program in September.

Corning also announced new leadership assignments in several other business and staff units:
  • Corning Specialty Materials: Curt Weinstein has been named vice president and general manager, Advanced Optics; Mark S. Giroux has been elected senior vice president, Photovoltaics and Touch programs; and John P. Bayne has been appointed director, Integrated Touch Full-Sheet program
  • Corning Life Sciences: Mark A. Beck has been elected senior vice president; Thomas Appelt has been named vice president and general manager, Corning Life Sciences Base Business; John McGirr has been appointed director of operations; and Lydia A. Kenton has been named director, worldwide sales
  • Corning Cable Systems EMEA: Gilbert C. Chorosz will become managing director following the retirement of Malcolm D. Barnett in October
  • Procurement and Transportation: Mills Kenan has been elected vice president in anticipation of the retirement of Senior Vice President Tom Blumer in October
  • Strategy and Corporate Development: John Sharkey has been named division vice president, Corporate Development
Additional details are available at www.corning.com.


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