3M taps head of Brunswick as new CEO
Wednesday, December 7, 2005; 9:32 AM
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. <MMM.N> on Wednesday named George Buckley as chairman, president and chief executive, tapping an executive credited for his strategic vision.
Buckley, formerly the chairman and CEO of Brunswick Corp. <BC.N>, immediately succeeds interim Chairman and CEO Robert Morrison, who had led 3M since July 1 after James McNerney jumped to the top job at Boeing Co. <BA.N>.
Analysts and investors welcomed the hiring of Buckley, who holds engineering degrees and previously led the U.S. motors business at Emerson Electric Co. <EMR.N>, sending 3M shares higher in premarket trading.
"I was impressed with what he did at Brunswick," said Robert Siewert, portfolio manager with 3M shareholder Glenmede Trust Co.
"Buckley refocused the company on its core businesses and what it did extraordinarily well. That really helped turn Brunswick around," Siewert added. "How that will map to 3M, we'll only know five years from now. His track record is pretty exemplary."
The appointment of Buckley, 58, ends nearly a six-month search for a new leader of the maker of such everyday products as Scotch tape and Post-It notes, as well as thin-film materials used on television and cell phone screens, and breathing masks.
Buckley, who led the maker of pleasure boats and boat engines, bowling balls and fitness equipment for more than five years and helped boost the stock price about 150 percent, takes control of a diversified manufacturer that employs 69,000 workers worldwide and had $20 billion in sales last year. That is a large step up from Brunswick's $5.23 billion in sales and 26,000 employees.
FTN Midwest Research analyst Brian Rayle credited Buckley for his strategic vision.
"He did a great job, added a lot of innovation to the product," said Rayle, who covers Brunswick. "He really improved a consumer product for the end customer, but also improved a lot of manufacturing footprint as well."
Prior to leading Brunswick, Buckley was with Emerson as the president of its U.S.-based electrical motors division and the automotive and precision motors division.
"George Buckley is a proven CEO with a terrific blend of strategic, business and analytical skills, and an excellent record of driving both sales growth and operational efficiency in a wide range of global businesses," 3M's Morrison said.
Brunswick promoted Dustan McCoy, the 56-year-old head of its boat group, to chairman and CEO. Separately, it said Xerox Corp. <XRX.N> Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Zimmerman was elected to its board of directors.
3M shares rose $1 to $78.70 in premarket trading on the Inet electronic brokerage network, up from its Tuesday close at $77.70 on the New York Stock Exchange. Brunswick shares fell 1.4 percent to $40.87.
(Additional reporting by Edward Tobin in New York)