Ketchum to retire as Rubbermaid top exec

Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid announced that president and CEO, Mark Ketchum, will retire later this year.

An executive recruiting firm has been retained to search for Ketchum’s replacement.

Ketchum plans to remain on the company’s board of directors through the spring of 2012 to help ensure a smooth and orderly transition to a new leader, the company said.

Ketchum, 61, joined Newell Rubbermaid as a director in 2005 and became president and CEO later that year.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the past five years at Newell Rubbermaid. I love this company and the people I work with, making my decision to retire extremely difficult, but consistent with the commitments I made to my family when I joined the company,” Ketchum said. “As the result of a lot of hard work and effort by everyone in the organization, our portfolio, our gross margin structure and our business model have been significantly transformed. We managed through the most difficult economic times in decades and have emerged a leaner, stronger organization focused on the key elements which will drive our continuing improvement.”

“Mark Ketchum’s leadership, especially during the difficult economic times and through the many elements of our transformation initiatives, has positioned the company to compete effectively in the extremely dynamic markets in which we participate,” said Michael T. Cowhig, the company’s chairman of the board. “Although our board of directors and associates would have loved Mark to remain our CEO for several more years, we fully respect the commitment he made to his family, and appreciate the fact that he has chosen to retire at a time when the company has completed most of its transformation efforts and is positioned for continued success.”

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