Foster Wheeler Ltd. announced that Raymond J. Milchovich has notified the company's Board of Directors of his intent to retire in 2009 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Foster Wheeler after his successor is elected and a successful transition has been completed.
Commenting on his decision, Milchovich said, "In October of this year I will complete my seventh year as Chairman and CEO of Foster Wheeler. Not only have we accomplished what many have described as a world-class turnaround, but we have transitioned Foster Wheeler into what has rapidly become a leading global engineering and construction contractor and power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced, reliable facilities and equipment.
"This success simply could not have occurred but for our extremely talented, experienced, and dedicated leadership team worldwide and the steady support we consistently received from our Board of Directors. These seven years have been the most gratifying of my career. Given the magnitude of what has been accomplished and recognizing the current strength of our company, the strategic focus we have established, and the robustness of our markets, I have never been more optimistic regarding the future of Foster Wheeler."
James D. Woods, who serves as Foster Wheeler's lead independent director and is Chairman Emeritus and retired Chief Executive Officer of Baker Hughes Incorporated, stated, "On behalf of the Board of Directors, we sincerely appreciate Ray's leadership, dedication, and intensity that have transformed the culture of Foster Wheeler.
"During the past seven years, Ray has over-achieved in every aspect of good management and strategic positioning. With regret but respect, we have accepted Ray's wish to retire, and we appreciate his flexibility to work with a successor and with the Board to effect a very successful leadership transition."
Commenting on the succession process, Woods added, "The Board has been very active with Ray and the senior leadership team conducting a robust succession planning process for all key leadership positions. Considering Ray's advance notice and flexibility in terms of timing and transition, the Board is confident that it has the time and resources to attract the right external candidate to become Ray's successor and to position him or her for continued success at Foster Wheeler. The Board has retained the CEO practice co-leader of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles in New York to conduct the worldwide search and to assist the Board with this process."
Milchovich concluded, "In light of the strength and depth of our worldwide leadership team and the experience and capability of our Board of Directors, I am confident that Foster Wheeler is now well positioned to achieve a very successful leadership transition. I have tremendous respect for, and loyalty to, our worldwide client base, our talented and committed employees, our shareholders, and all other Foster Wheeler stakeholders.
"Therefore, I have assured the Board that I will continue to lead the company with the same dedication, focus, and intensity until my successor is in place. I have also assured the Board that I am prepared to do whatever is required to effect a smooth, orderly and successful transition.
"In the meantime," said Milchovich, "It's business as usual at Foster Wheeler. My day-to-day role remains unchanged. In addition, we continue to have an exceptionally strong President & COO - Umberto della Sala - who earlier this year signed an employment agreement through 2011 and who has indicated to the Board his intention to remain in that position."
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