DuPont chief Ellen Kuhlman will retire later this month, the chemical company said on Monday as it also cut its earnings forecast for 2015.
DuPont’s first female CEO is retiring effective next week. Breen is now a member of the company’s board of directors.
In May, Kuhlman, 59, successfully fought back a challenge from shareholder activist Nelson Peltz, who had sought four board seats on the 213-year-old company that produces insecticides, enzymes for food production and a variety of specialty chemical products. In her statement, Kullman said, “Now is the right time for a new leader to continue to drive the pace of change to capitalize fully on the opportunity ahead”.
Kullman has been with DuPont for 27 years and led the company as it spun off its fluoropolymers and titanium dioxide business into a separate public company, Chemours, earlier this year.
Concerning the appointment of Breen as interim Chairman and CEO, Cutler said he is well-suited to lead Dupont given his record of achievement and broad experience.
DuPont also lowered its 2015 forecast for operating earnings per share to about $2.75 from $3.10. The value of the real has dropped 60 percent year-over-year compared to the dollar. The company said it will earn around 25% of its expected second-half operating earnings in the third quarter.
And now, Brazil’s struggling economy is hurting DuPont. Farmers in the country became cautious in their spending because of tighter profit margins and credit.
The revised guidance was mostly due to the impact of a stronger dollar and weakness in Brazilian agriculture markets. Ellen Kullman has so far resisted that pressure for a breakup.