Ashland CEO Bill Wulfsohn leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Wulfsohn
  • Guillermo Novo taking over
  • Wulfsohn said 72 words

(exechange) — Covington, Kentucky, October 8, 2019 — Bill Wulfsohn, chief executive of Ashland, leaves. As announced by Ashland Global Holdings Inc. in a news release on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, William A. (Bill) Wulfsohn leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the specialty chemicals company after about five years in the role, effective December 31, 2019.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Bill Wulfsohn’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Guillermo Novo, most recently President and CEO of Versum Materials.

Already a director

Novo is already a director of Ashland. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Novo understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Ashland’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“The right time”

Bill Wulfsohn’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Wulfsohn said: “I believe that it’s the right time to transition the Company to new leadership, and I am confident that Guillermo will continue to propel Ashland forward.”

Precise information regarding Bill Wulfsohn’s future plans was not immediately available.


Ashland said: “William A. Wulfsohn will continue to serve as Chairman and CEO through the end of this year to ensure a smooth transition. Following Mr. Wulfsohn’s departure from Ashland, the Board will be composed of 10 members, nine of whom are independent.”

Share price increase since January 2015

The announcement follows an increase in Ashland Global Holdings Inc.’s share price of 29% since January 2015.

In the position of CEO since 2015

Bill Wulfsohn became CEO of the Company in January 2015.

Bill Wulfsohn is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ashland Global Holdings Inc. since September 2016 and held the same positions at Ashland Inc. since January 1, 2015.

Prior to joining Ashland, Wulfsohn served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Carpenter Technology Corp., a manufacturer of stainless steel, titanium, and other specialty metals and engineered products, from July 2010 to November 2014.

Wulfsohn also served as a Director for Carpenter Technology Corp. from April 2009 to November 2014 and of Valvoline Inc. from September 2016 to January 2018.

Wulfsohn serves as a director of PolyOne Corporation.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Ashland and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 41.2019 ($).