3M Co. announced a slate of leadership changes Tuesday and disclosed that its board of directors has waived the mandatory retirement age of 65 for CEO Inge Thulin.
Thulin is currently 63.
The Maplewood-based manufacturer also said longtime executive Michael F. Roman has been appointed to the roles of chief operating officer and executive vice president. Roman has been the head of 3M’s largest business group, Industrial.
It also appointed Hak Cheol “H.C.” Shin as 3M’s new vice chairman and executive vice president.
Both appointments are effective July 1. Both men will report directly to Thulin, who remains 3M chairman, president and chief executive.
The leadership changes were seen by some analysts as the first stage of long-term succession planning. Thulin was appointed as 3M’s chief operating officer in 2011 before becoming named CEO in 2012. In an e-mail Tuesday, a company spokeswoman emphasized that “no decisions have been made relative to the succession of Inge Thulin.”
Even so, Edward Jones Equity Analyst Matt Arnold said, “Anytime an executive is elevated to a prominent No. 2 position within a company like this, the investment community takes it as a signal they are the leading candidate for CEO successor.”
With respect to the board’s decision to waive Thulin’s mandatory retirement age, Arnold noted that “It is not common. ... But we are not concerned by it, given the solid job that Inge Thulin has done in delivering results in a growth-challenged environment.”
In a statement Tuesday, Thulin praised both Roman and Shin as “highly effective, accomplished leaders with proven track records of delivering strong results, building businesses and developing future leaders.”
In his new role, Roman will be responsible for 3M’s five business groups and international operations. Before Tuesday’s appointment, he served as executive vice president of the 3M Industrial Business Group. Before that, he was senior vice president of strategy and business development and an early leader in 3M’s Lean Six Sigma program. He also served as 3M Korea’s president and executive officer for several years.
In his new role, Shin will oversee several global functions, including 3M research & development, strategy and business development, supply chain operations, information technology and 3M’s business transformation, which looks to enhance agility and efficiency. Since 2011, Shin was 3M’s executive vice president of 3M international operations. Before that he served as executive vice president of industrial.
3M announced several other leadership changes Tuesday that will also become effective July 1.
James Bauman, currently executive vice president of electronics & energy, has been appointed executive vice president of industrial.
Julie Bushman, currently senior vice president of business transformation & information technology, will become executive vice president of international operations.
Eric Hammes, currently vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer, was named senior vice president of business transformation & information technology.
Ashish Khandpur, currently senior vice president of research & development and chief technology officer, was appointed executive vice president of electronics & energy. John Banovetz, currently managing director of 3M Germany, Austria, Switzerland, will succeed Khandpur.
3M shares closed at $213.36 a share, unchanged from the previous day’s close.