GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE:GTI) (“GrafTech”) today announced that Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Craig Shular, age 61, has decided to retire as President and CEO of the Company after 11 years, and 15 years with the Company. Mr. Shular will continue as GrafTech’s Executive Chairman of the Board until December 31, 2014 as part of a seamless transition. During his leadership, GrafTech’s market capitalization grew from just over $300 million in 2002 to over $1.5 billion today. “It has been a privilege to have led and worked alongside some of the finest teammates in the graphite material science industry. I’m looking forward to a very smooth transition and ultimately spending more time with my family in retirement,” said Mr. Shular.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, and all of us at GrafTech, I want to thank Craig for his many outstanding contributions to the Company. Craig has been an inspiring leader as CEO and has transformed the Company from an electrode producer to a leading global graphite material science company. He will leave the Company having created a culture driven for results with integrity, teamwork and customer focus. We greatly appreciate his dedication and commitment to continue as Executive Chairman for 2014,” said Mary Cranston, Lead Independent Director of GrafTech’s Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors has appointed Joel Hawthorne, age 49, GrafTech’s current President of Engineered Solutions, as Chief Executive Officer and President, effective immediately and elected him to GrafTech’s Board of Directors. “Joel is an experienced leader with a proven track record, and was part of the original team that was brought in 15 years ago to turn the Company around. Under Joel’s leadership, Engineered Solutions’ sales have grown by over 20% per year,” continued Ms. Cranston.
“Joel has experience across all our businesses. He has ten years of senior management responsibility in our graphite electrode business and has led our Engineered Solutions segment for the past three years. Joel is a talented and proven leader, understands our customers and can work with our strong team to build on the important progress we are making. I look forward to remaining on the Board, and working closely with Joel to assist with the transition,” said Mr. Shular.