3M’s board has appointed Michael Roman, its current chief operating officer, to succeed Inge Thulin as chief executive when he retires from the position in July.
The appointment puts an end to the succession question for 3M, one of only two Minnesota-based multinational giants on the Dow Jones industrial average.
Thulin — who is credited with steering 3M through a global downturn and back to revenue growth and a healthy stock price — will move to the newly created position of executive chairman of the board.
Roman, 58, has spent 30 years at 3M and was named 3M chief operating officer and executive vice president in July 2017. At that time, he gained direct day-to-day responsibility for all five of 3M’s business groups and its international operations.
“After a thorough and thoughtful succession planning process, Mike is the clear choice to lead 3M into the future as CEO,” Thulin said. “He is an accomplished, results-oriented and high-integrity leader, with an excellent track record of growing sales, improving operational efficiency and increasing value across a wide range of global businesses.”
Thulin became 3M CEO in 2012 after 33 years rising through the ranks of 3M. In his new role as executive chairman, Thulin will continue to chair 3M’s board and will work closely with Roman on “longer-term strategic initiatives.”
Roman previously led 3M’s Industrial Business Group, which accounts for one-third of 3M’s worldwide sales. Before that, he served as 3M’s chief strategist, where he worked closely with Thulin to develop 3M’s strategic road map. He has led various 3M businesses in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Roman earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
“It is an honor to lead 3M into the future,” Roman said in a statement. “Inge’s leadership has taken 3M to new heights, and I look forward to building on our momentum and delivering value for customers and shareholders.”
3M ended 2017 with nearly $32 billion in revenue, $4.9 billion in profits and nearly 91,000 employees.
3M announced its leadership change after the market closed Monday. 3M’s stock price closed Monday at $232.81, up $2.44 a share.
News of Roman’s appointment comes less than two weeks after 3M settled an eight-year-old lawsuit with the state that proved the biggest environmental lawsuit in Minnesota’s history. 3M will pay $850 million to clean up contaminated well and groundwater in east metro communities.