Industry News

Graeme Armstrong appointed ICI's new head of R&D

Published on 2005-11-18. Author : SpecialChem

ICI has appointed Dr Graeme D Armstrong as Senior Vice President, Technology effective 1 December 2005. He succeeds Carmine Iovine who has led ICI's R&D function since 1999 and who will retire next March.

Armstrong, 43, received his BSc (first) in chemistry in 1983 and his PhD in inorganic chemistry in 1986 from the University of Newcastle in the UK.

His 19-year career in the detergents industry has encompassed consumer product development, industrial product development and leadership roles in managing and developing research and innovation functions for Unilever, DiverseyLever and JohnsonDiversey, created through the merger of Johnson Wax Professional and DiverseyLever.

Most recently he was JohnsonDiversey's President for Europe, Middle East and Africa with full P&L and functional responsibility for the $1.3 billion business, with 6000 employees and operations in 28 countries.

A British national, Armstrong has worked extensively in the Netherlands, the UK and within continental Europe as well as the USA and Indonesia. He is a Chartered Chemist and a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Armstrong will be based at ICI's corporate head office in London.

ICI's Chief Executive John McAdam said: "We are delighted to welcome Graeme to ICI and look forward to working with him to drive innovation forward across the Group. I believe ICI has huge opportunities to develop unique and exciting formulations for our customers and consumers and to increase our rate of new product development in our specialty chemicals and paints businesses. Graeme has the right combination of research, innovation and senior management experience to ensure we seize the opportunities and benefit from them.

Mr. McAdam added: "I also want to thank Carmine Iovine for his leadership of the R&D function, his contribution to ICI's development and transformation during the past six years, and indeed for his friendship over the many years we have worked together in ICI and in Unilever. We made great progress during his tenure, and the entire Group owes him a great debt of gratitude. I wish him a very happy retirement."

Armstrong said:"I am very enthusiastic about joining ICI with its long legacy of scientific achievement. Clearly there is a very strong R&D function in place, including both the specialist corporate technology team and outstanding scientists in each of the businesses. I think there are further synergies to be exploited between the businesses, leading to more and better product development Group-wide, and more benefits to be realised from technical interaction with key customers, ICI marketing staff, technology suppliers and academic scientists. I know this role will be challenging and stimulating as, across the function, we enhance the science base of ICI to progress our goal of being the industry leader in formulation science."


Armstrong's first post-doctoral appointment was with Unilever's Port Sunlight Laboratories where he was Research & Product Development Manager responsible for commercialising new enzymes in fabric detergent products, a major product line for Unilever. He went on to lead basic research programmes for the consumer detergents business in the UK, Indonesia and USA.

In 1994 Armstrong moved to Lever Industrial International where he established an R&D programme which was for the first time separate from Unilever's consumer research and was tailored to Lever's industrial markets. He also introduced innovation processes which doubled new product development for the industrial sectors and was part of the management team responsible for the acquisition of Diversey from Molson Corporation.

He was promoted in 1996 to Senior Vice President Research and Development to integrate and lead the new DiverseyLever global R&D organisation, serving the professional cleaning and hygiene sector. Within three years the merged function had integrated, developed a new R&D strategy and tripled new product sales, underpinned by several major industrial cleaning products with annual sales of tens of millions of dollars.

Armstrong then took on a new role within DiverseyLever in 1999 charged with driving innovation and product marketing, globally. After harmonising the division's product portfolio to reduce complexity and increase profits, he established a strategy to open new markets through service innovations, in part by creating a successful stand-alone consultancy business, DiverseyLever Consulting and Hygieneomics, and oversaw award-winning and highly profitable product launches in key product categories. He was also a member of the core management team responsible for the sale of the DiverseyLever operation.

In 2002 DiverseyLever merged with Johnson Wax Professional to create JohnsonDiversey, Inc. Armstrong was appointed President, Europe, Middle East and Africa with full P&L and functional responsibility for the $1.3 billion business, with 6000 employees and operations in 28 countries. Since 2002, he has focused on driving key financial metrics such as sales growth and cash flow, synergy savings targets and integration of functional activities such as finance, IT and supply chain for the region.

About the ICI Group

ICI is one of the world's major specialty products and paints businesses. The Group's four principal businesses are National Starch, Quest, Uniqema and ICI Paints, which together account for more than 90% of ICI's sales. Today around a quarter of ICI's sales are made in Asia Pacific and 40% in the Americas with less than 12% now made in the UK.

ICI products today include flavours and starches for the food industry, fragrances, surfactants and specialty polymers for personal care products, adhesives for the electronics and packaging markets as well as a wide range of decorative coatings and specialty products for domestic use and the construction industry. Listed on both the London and New York Stock Exchanges, ICI is a member of the FTSE100, FTSE4Good and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. ICI has around 33,000 employees worldwide and had sales in 2004 of 5.6 billion GBP. 4 of 5.6 billion GBP.

Source: ICI Group

The Chemicals Sales & Marketing Toolbox
Back to Top