PPG Industries senior vice president Victoria M. Holt has abruptly resigned to head Spartech Corp. in the wake of PPG’s launch of a new Solar Performance Group.
PPG announced late Tuesday (Sept. 7) that it was establishing the Solar Performance Group to focus on glass and coatings technologies for the solar power industry.
Holt, then PPG’s senior vice president of glass and fiber glass, praised the initiative, saying, “PPG is well positioned to capitalize on the future of the global solar market,” according to a company announcement.
Late Wednesday (Sept. 8), however, PPG announced that Holt had resigned from the company, effective immediately. Then, after close of business Wednesday, plastics manufacturer Spartech Corp. announced that Holt would become that company’s president and CEO.
Holt’s direct reports at PPG will report to J. Rich Alexander, PPG executive vice president, performance coatings, on an interim basis, PPG said.
From Glass to Plastics
Holt, a chemist and MBA, joined PPG in 2003 as vice president, fiber glass, after a series of positions with Solutia and Monsanto Co. In May 2005, she was promoted to senior vice president, glass and fiber glass. In that position, Holt oversaw $2 billion in global sales of glass and fiber glass products as well as performance glazings.
Her tenure included the 2009-10 launch of PPG’s Solarphire glass family of products, “designed to maximize the efficiency of all solar technologies,” Holt said in Tuesday’s PPG announcement.
The glass line includes Solarphire NaB (for photovoltaic applications), Solarphire AR (Anti-Reflective), and Solarphire PV, designed to maximize solar energy transmission for photovoltaic modules.
Holt, 52, has been on the board of St. Louis-based Spartech Corp. since 2005. With facilities in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and France, Spartech’s three business segments annually process about 1 billion pounds of plastic resins, specialty plastic alloys, and color and specialty compounds in producing plastic sheet, compounds, and packaging products.
Holt’s appointment is part of a “restructuring program” at Spartech, where she replaces Myles Odaniell, said company chairman Ralph B. Andy.
Holt’s “experience in executing strategic change in customer-focused manufacturing businesses and her proven commitment to operational excellence will generate the greatest benefits for our customers, employees and shareholders," Andy said in a statement.
Holt said in the statement that she was “honored to join the outstanding Spartech team,” which she had come to know during her directorship. "Spartech has strong, diverse end market positions, a broad product portfolio, market-leading product development, a solid balance sheet, and opportunities for growth to significantly expand its customer base and drive further value to our shareholders."
New Group: ‘Creating Innovative Products’
PPG’s new Solar Performance Group will focus on the continuous development and commercialization of glass and coatings technologies for the solar power industry, the company said.
The team will be dedicated to solar product and technology development, sales, manufacturing and technical support. It will be led by Scott Follett, global director; Patrick Kelly, solar segment manager-North America/European Union; and other PPG research and development professionals, the company said.
“The formation of the PPG Solar Performance Group demonstrates PPG’s commitment to creating innovative products that serve markets with tremendous growth potential,” said Follett. “We have worked closely with customers to ensure that these products increase power-generation efficiency, and the PPG Solar Performance Group will help to grow the products’ position in the solar marketplace.”
The group will “leverage the expertise of the entire corporation to develop durable, ‘green’ lead-free protective coatings, adhesives and sealants,” PPG said. Follett said PPG’s experience in glass handling and fabrication would enable the group to provide customers with complete solar solutions.
The PPG Solar Performance Group is headquartered at the PPG Glass Business and Discovery Center in Harmar, Pa.
Pittsburgh-based PPG, founded in 1883, serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion.