Celanese CEO Mark Rohr
Just one week into the job, Celanese Corp. (IW 500/153) CEO Mark Rohr was already forging ahead on the company's plans to double its earnings to $9 a share by 2016.
Rohr took the helm at Dallas-based Celanese, one of the world's largest producers of acetyl products, April 2. He replaced former Chairman and CEO David Weidman who retired after 12 years with the company, including the last eight as CEO.
Employee empowerment will be one of several key components helping the company meet its growth goals, Rohr says. It's a strategy Rohr says worked well for him in his previous role as CEO of specialty chemical producer Albemarle Corp. (IW500/289). At Celanese, Rohr says he plans to have employees more involved in customer-collaboration activities that bring new solutions to market.
This includes the ability to take technology used in a customer's application and modify it for use in another component. The company could then produce a prototype of the solution -- molded to specification -- and present it to the customer as a new product, Rohr says.
"In other words, we're finding ways to go beyond just talking to the customer and actually going in and bringing solutions to them," he tells IndustryWeek.
The ability to bring new technologies to market along with geographic expansion helped Celanese achieve record earnings in 2011. The company's net income reached $607 million, or $3.82 a share, in 2011, up from $377 million in 2010.
But Rohr acknowledged in Celanese's first-quarter earnings call with investors on April 24 there are challenges ahead the company must address. Celanese's first-quarter performance fell below analysts' expectations. The company's earnings reached $183 million, or $1.15 a share, in the first quarter, up from $142 million, or 90 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding tax credits and other adjustments, Celanese earned 72 cents per share during the quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 77 cents per share.