Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD), the industrial-gas producer whose largest shareholder is activist investor William Ackman, said it will add three independent directors to its board and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. McGlade will step down next year.
A search for the next CEO will be led by a committee formed by the Air Products board and assisted by an executive search firm, the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company said today in a statement.
“We have had a constructive dialogue with Pershing Square,” McGlade said in the statement. Air Products is “pleased they are supportive of the actions our board is announcing.”
The move comes after Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP said in July it had amassed a 9.8 percent stake in Air Products, signaling that it planned to push for change at the company.
The three independent directors who will join the board immediately are Edward Monser and Matthew Paull, both of whom will stand for election at the company’s 2014 annual meeting, and Seifi Ghasemi, the Chairman and CEO of chemical company Rockwood Holdings Inc. (ROC)
Pershing agreed to vote in favor of the company’s slate of nominees recommended by the board.
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