CHICAGO (September 7, 2018)
– James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX) announced today that Dr Jack Truong, currently the Company’s President - International since April 2017, will succeed long-standing CEO Louis Gries as the incoming CEO of James Hardie Industries.
Dr Truong who continues to be based out of North America, will be formally appointed to the CEO role toward the end of the company’s 2019 fiscal year, at which time Mr Gries will step down as CEO and from the Board.
The Board has determined that a structured transition is in the best interest of shareholders and an approximate six month handover period has been established, during which time Mr Gries will remain in the CEO role and Dr Truong will become President and Chief Operating Officer with the responsibility of running the Group’s global business. He currently has responsibility for the operations of the Asia Pacific Fiber Cement business and the Europe Building Products business.
Reflecting on the decision to appoint Jack, James Hardie Chairman, Michael Hammes, said: “The Board has selected Jack following a rigorous and extensive process that included a strong field of internal candidates. The decision considered the transition from Louis’ immensely successful 13-year tenure as CEO of James Hardie and the requirement for the incoming candidate to possess strong operational experience and industry knowledge.
“Jack offers the ideal combination of commercial expertise, operational excellence, and leadership in order to continue to grow the business and maintain the industry-leading performance, across multiple geographies, established by Louis over a long period.”
Commenting on his appointment, Dr Truong said: “It is an honor to be asked by the Board to succeed Louis as CEO of James Hardie. I have had the privilege of working with him for the last couple of years in positioning James Hardie for significant international growth in Asia Pacific and Europe. Louis’ depth of industry expertise is unrivalled and I look forward to having his knowledge available to me during the transition.”
Louis Gries joined James Hardie in 1991, becoming CEO in February 2005. Mr Hammes paid tribute to Mr Gries’ leadership as CEO during which time James Hardie delivered strong top-line growth and differentiated returns while increasing the market capitalization from less than A$3.0 billion to A$9.21 billion.
Mr Gries commented: “It has been a privilege to work for James Hardie the past 27 years and to have the opportunity to lead the company over the last 13 years. I am particularly proud of the establishment of the Asbestos Injury Compensation Fund in 2007, the establishment and execution of our 35/90 strategy in North America and more recently the strategic acquisition of Fermacell which positions the Company for long-term growth in Europe.
“In Jack we have a strong and capable executive to lead James Hardie’s strategic direction, and the company’s operational and financial performance into the future. I hope to be of great value in my ongoing support of Jack.”
Dr Jack Truong
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Dr Jack G. Truong has been President of International Operations at James Hardie since April 2017. Dr Truong’s ability to anticipate global market trends and deliver profitable revenue growth is evidenced by his extensive multinational and multisector business experience.
Prior to James Hardie, Dr Truong was the President and Chief Executive Officer of leading home appliance manufacturer, Electrolux North America Inc, a $5+ billion revenue and 14,000+ employee business at the time of his leadership.
Before joining Electrolux, Dr Truong enjoyed a successful 22-year career at 3M Company, where he held senior leadership roles throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific, including Vice President and General Manager of the Global Construction and Home Improvements Division and Global Office Supplies Division.
As an engineer and inventor himself – earning his PhD in chemical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York – Dr Truong is the recipient of 11 U.S. patents and several international patents. Dr Truong also enjoys giving time to philanthropic causes and professional industry associations, receiving multiple accolades for his humanitarian work and business accomplishments.