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Ackman Says He Will Have ‘Influence’ on Air Products CEO Choice

Activist investor William Ackman said he’ll be able to influence the selection of the next chief executive officer at Air Products & Chemicals Inc. after taking a stake in the industrial-gas company.

“We have the opportunity to interview the finalists for the job,” Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management LP, said today in an interview with Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television. “We’ll have influence, but the board will identify the next CEO with some input from us.”

Air Products said in September that its CEO and Chairman John E. McGlade will retire next year, less than two months after Pershing Square became its largest shareholder. The next CEO will be recommended by a committee of Air Products directors with help from an executive search firm, the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company said Sept. 26.

Ackman said Air Products’ operational efficiency can be improved in the coming years. There are no plans for a large financial restructuring, he said.

Pershing Square holds a 9.8 percent stake in Air Products, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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