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Thomas C. Sullivan Retires from RPM Board

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

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Multinational holding company RPM International recognized a handful of changes to its board of directors at its annual meeting of stockholders, including the retirement of one director who had served for more than five decades.

A Long History

At the meeting, Thomas C. Sullivan officially stepped down as a director of RPM after 55 years of service, the Medina, OH, the company announced Thursday (Oct. 6).

Thomas C Sullivan, RPM
Photos: RPM International

At its recent annual meeting of stockholders, Chairman Emeritus Thomas C. Sullivan officially retired as a director of RPM after 55 years of service.

Sullivan had joined RPM's predecessor, Republic Powdered Metals, in 1961 as a divisional sales manager. In 1971, following the sudden death of his father and RPM founder, Frank C. Sullivan, he assumed leadership of the then-$11-million company, the firm said.

When he stepped down as chief executive officer in 2002, RPM's annual sales were more than $2 billion—today, they are nearly $5 billion, the company noted.

"Tom shaped RPM's corporate culture, established its core operating principles and has been a key driver of its growth and success,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank C. Sullivan, who is Thomas C. Sullivan’s son.

“If you made a $1,000 investment in RPM on May 31, 1971, near the start of Tom's leadership, and reinvested the dividends, your investment would have grown at an incredible rate to $510,190 by the end of our 2016 fiscal year,” he continued. That same investment in the S&P 500 over a comparable timeframe would be worth $81,100, Frank C. Sullivan added.

Board Contributions

Thomas C. Sullivan’s history with the firm included election to vice president in 1967, assuming the role of executive vice president in 1969, and being elected chairman of the board in 1971, according to the company’s website. In October 2008, he retired after 37 years of serving as chairman, but continued to serves as chairman emeritus until this year.

The board indicated that Sullivan’s extensive experience in and knowledge of the company’s business—gained through both his long-time service as a member of management and to the board—as well as his experience serving as a director of other private and public companies, were essential to the group’s oversight of the company and its business operations.

David A Deberko Thomas S Gross Craig S Morford Frank C Sullivan

In addition to Thomas C. Sullivan's retirement from the board, RPM announced that four directors were elected to serve three-year terms, including (from left to right): David A. Deberko, Thomas S. Gross, Craig S. Morford, and Frank C. Sullivan.

"Tom leaves a lasting legacy that will continue to reward our shareholders and guide our current management team,” Frank C. Sullivan noted. “We are extremely grateful for the mentorship and guidance he has provided."

Additional Appointments

In addition to Thomas C. Sullivan’s retirement from the board, four directors were elected to serve in Class I with three-year terms expiring at the annual meeting of stockholders in 2019.

The elected Class I directors are:

  • David A. Daberko, retired chairman of the board and chief executive officer, National City Corporation, now a part of PNC Financial Services Group Inc., a director since 2007;
  • Thomas S. Gross, retired vice chairman and chief operating officer for the Electrical Sector of Eaton Corporation plc, a director since 2012;
  • Craig S. Morford, chief legal and compliance officer of Cardinal Health Inc., a director since 2013; and
  • Frank C. Sullivan, chairman and chief executive officer of RPM, a director since 1995.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business management; Business matters; Coating Materials; Coatings manufacturers; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Industry News; Latin America; North America; Personnel; RPM

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