MEDINA, Ohio, Oct 11, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --
* Former CEO Thomas C. Sullivan to Remain Chairman * Retiring Vice Chairman James A. Karman to Remain Director RPM, Inc.
(NYSE: RPM) announced today that, in accordance with its executive transition
plan, the Board of Directors has named Frank C. Sullivan chief executive officer
of the company. He succeeds Thomas C. Sullivan, who retires today after 31 years
as RPM's chief executive.
Under the succession plan, Frank Sullivan will retain his current titles of
president and chief operating officer and Tom Sullivan will remain on the Board
of Directors as non-executive chairman. James A. Karman, RPM's vice chairman,
who also retires today, will remain on the company's board.
"It's been a remarkable and rewarding ride for Jim Karman and me," said Tom
Sullivan. "As our era ends, I feel especially positive about the caliber of the
management team that will assume our responsibilities. Through the years, we
have adhered to our practice of hiring and keeping the best people, and the
result is a talented group of leaders who are well prepared to manage RPM's
Said Frank Sullivan, "I am excited and optimistic about RPM's future. We have a
great portfolio of leading brands, top market share positions and good balance
between the industrial and consumer markets we serve. Most importantly, we have
a dedicated employee base of nearly 8,000 people, lead by a seasoned management
team, at both the corporate and operating levels, who have delivered, and will
continue to deliver, RPM's proven strategy of organic and acquisition-led
Under the stewardship of Tom Sullivan and Jim Karman, RPM established itself as
a world leader in specialty coatings for both the industrial and consumer
markets. Annual sales grew from approximately $11 million in fiscal 1971 to
approximately $2 billion in fiscal 2002, and the company earned a reputation for
strong, sustained financial performance.
"I have been fortunate to work with two individuals who have been models of
leadership," Frank Sullivan said. "For more than three decades, Tom Sullivan and
Jim Karman have anchored this company. It's a great honor to follow in their
footsteps, succeeding both my father and grandfather as CEO, and to be entrusted
with the legacy of growth, integrity and humanity that my predecessors upheld."
Frank Sullivan, 41, joined RPM's corporate office in 1989 as director of
corporate development and assumed positions of increasing responsibility,
including chief financial officer for six years. Appointed president in 1999 and
chief operating officer in 2001, Frank Sullivan played a primary role in RPM's
first-ever restructuring, which involved consolidation of manufacturing
facilities and a workforce reduction. He also led a successful reorganization of
the business into six focused groups headed by experienced operating company
Prior to joining the corporate office, Frank Sullivan was regional sales manager
for AGR Company, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based RPM joint-venture company.
Before joining RPM, he worked as an assistant vice president at First Union
National Bank (now Wachovia Corporation) and a commercial lending representative
at Harris Trust & Savings Bank, both in Chicago. He is a graduate of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a BA in English
Literature and was a Morehead scholar.
Frank Sullivan is a director of the Greater Cleveland chapter of the American
Red Cross and a trustee of The Cleveland Clinic Health System - Western region,
Students in Free Enterprise, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He
is a graduate of the Leadership Cleveland class of 2001. He and his wife,
Barbara, have four sons.
Tom Sullivan, 65, started at RPM as a divisional sales manager in 1961,
subsequently advancing to vice president, executive vice president and president
before his election as chairman and CEO following the death of his father,
Frank, in 1971. Before launching his career, he earned a bachelor's degree in
business administration at Miami University and served two years in the U.S.
Navy as a communications officer on the U.S.S. Braine (DD630).
Jim Karman, 65, joined RPM in 1963, serving as treasurer and progressing through
a series of positions culminating in the vice chairmanship, after serving as
president from 1978 to 1999. Before coming to RPM, he was an assistant manager
at Union Bank & Trust Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A graduate of Miami
University, where he was a fraternity brother of Tom Sullivan, Jim Karman earned
his MBA at the University of Wisconsin.
Both Tom Sullivan and Jim Karman have been active members of numerous civic and
community organizations over the years.
RPM, Inc. is a world leader in specialty coatings serving both industrial and
consumer markets. RPM's industrial products including roofing systems, sealants,
corrosion control coatings, flooring coatings and specialty chemicals. Its
consumer products are used by professionals and do-it- yourselfers for home,
automotive and boat maintenance and by hobbyists. Leading industrial brands
include Stonhard, Tremco, Carboline, Day-Glo, Euco and Dryvit. Consumer brands
include Zinsser, Rust-Oleum, DAP, Varathane, Bondo, Tremclad and Testors.
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SOURCE RPM, Inc.
CONTACT: Glenn R. Hasman, vice president of finance and communications
of RPM, Inc., +1-330-273-8820
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