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Month: May 2012

Creating Customer Value

Innovation Tastes Sweet At Celanese 

Frankfurt – Last week I was in Europe visiting with employees and customers. I met many talented people and am learning more about Celanese’s innovation capabilities. I like what I see. The teams there are enthusiastically developing solutions for customers that address the needs of our society today and in the future.

Take beverages for example. In 2011, five out of the top ten carbonated soft drinks in the US had zero calories thanks to artificial sweeteners. These “light beverages” are gaining popularity because consumers these days want less

Creating Customer Value

Competitive Dynamics Require More From Us In Singapore 

Recently I was in Asia visiting key government officials in China and Indonesia with our Advanced Fuel Technologies (AFT) team.  At the end of the trip, I stopped by our Singapore Acetyl facility on Jurong Island.  The plant has been in the spotlight recently.  Industry conditions and a challenging feedstock position have necessitated the temporary idling of the acetic acid unit.  My objectives in visiting the site were focused on our people. 

Historically Singapore served as our initial gateway to the East.  We launched production in 1997 with vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and now also produce acetic acid, ethyl acetate and butyl acetate.  The plant has a rich history of process and safety excellence and has been a cornerstone of the…

Creating Customer Value

Trying To “Keep It Simple” (KISS) 

In my 20-year career since leaving undergraduate engineering school, I have run into various forms of the KISS principle many times.  Whether in product design, communications or organizations, the KISS principle states that most things work best if they are kept simple.  Therefore, simplicity should be a key goal of almost any activity.

In Celanese’s EVA Performance Polymers business, trying to make things simpler has been a key driver of nearly everything we do.  When emerging from the tough economic conditions experienced in 2008 and 2009, we had…

Employee Growth, Shareholder Value

The Job Offer I’ve Been Waiting For: CEO for the Day 

In all honesty, what first attracted me to the “job offer” was a chance to do a good deed, to learn a bit about finance, and the wonderful promise of a trip to the Big Apple. Little did I realize how rich of a learning experience I would be receiving. Fortunately   I was able to place the winning bid in the silent auction benefiting the Dallas United Way and was in for the greatest and easiest promotion of my life, albeit shortlived.

 This year’s CEO for a Day was a trip to New York City to attend the Barclay’s ROC Star conference on May 3 with Mark Rohr,Celanese’s chairman and chief executive officer. The conference is attended by investors from…

Shareholder Value

Investor Relations By The Numbers 

Recently we visited with Wall Street investors.  Mark Rohr, the new chairman and chief executive officer of Celanese, has a tremendous reputation on Wall Street and investors wanted to hear first-hand his vision for our company. 

In forty-eight hours, the Celanese team attended investor meetings in Boston and New York. These meetings are a gauntlet of physical and mental endurance with long days followed by dinner meetings fielding probing questions from investors and sell side analysts. 

And with a new CEO, demand was overwhelmingly high when we hit the road…

Employee Growth

Celanese Leadership Program – The Summer Job Of A Lifetime 

In a few short weeks, eleven summer interns and five full-time associates of the Celanese Leadership Program (CELP) will make their way to Dallas.  They will come from Austin, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City and Charlottesville.  They are chemical engineers, CPAs, mechanical engineers and econ majors.  They will hold passports from China, countries in Africa, India, the US and more.  They want to be general managers, CEOs or CFOs.  They are incredibly diverse.  But they share a common objective:  they all want to develop their skills and talents to accelerate their careers with the types of opportunities that Celanese can provide. 

With Michael Stubblefield, the general manager of our Ticona business, I have the pleasure to serve as the executive sponsor the the Celanese Leadership Program.  Our objective is simple: …

Employee Growth

Employee Opportunity And Development In Celanese 

As an HR professional, people often ask me: “How can I develop my career at Celanese? What are the traits the company truly likes? “

Through my job, I have had the opportunity to discuss this idea of talent with senior leaders. I’d like to share some of their unique insights on talent and what makes a successful manager.   

First, what’s the most impressive trait an employee has? I had that conversation with a senior executive once. Here is what he said. “We have many employees who graduated from reputable universities with good professional knowledge. Their second language English is better than mine. All these are good.  But what I really like is their passion on the job. I don’t care what…