W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) announced today that Fred Festa intends to step down as Chief Executive Officer during the fourth quarter of 2018, but remain as non-executive Chairman. Grace also announced that, as part of its succession plan, the Board of Directors has elected Hudson La Force, President and Chief Operating Officer, as a director of the company.
“Fred has led the company through one of the most challenging periods in its history,” said Chris Steffen, Lead Independent Director. “He led us out of bankruptcy, made several significant acquisitions, and repositioned our portfolio by spinning off our former construction chemicals and packaging businesses, all while increasing the company’s profitability and positioning it for a successful future.”
Mr. Festa joined Grace as President and COO in 2003 and became CEO in 2005. Mr. La Force joined Grace as CFO in 2008 and became President and COO in 2016.
“Hudson will be a great addition to our Board,” said Festa. “He brings thoughtful leadership, critical thinking, and strategic vision to the company. I also would like to thank the Board (BWP) for their strong support and guidance over the last 14 years. I am proud to lead a company that is so committed to serving its customers.”
Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials. The company’s two industry-leading business segments—Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies—provide innovative products, technologies, and services that enhance the products and processes of our customers around the world. With approximately 3,700 employees, Grace operates and/or sells to customers in over 60 countries. More information about Grace is available at grace.com.