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Chris Brown is new president and CEO of Lubrizol Corp.

Chris Brown is new president and CEO of Lubrizol Corp.
Photo courtesy of Eric Schnur courtesy of Lubrizol

For the first time in Lubrizol’s 90+ year history, the company has named an outsider to become its new president and chief executive officer (CEO). Chris Brown, CEO at Berkshire Hathaway Energy Infrastructure, has been named president and CEO of Lubrizol Corp., a Berkshire Hathaway company. He succeeds Eric Schnur, who will remain in an advisory role. A reason was not given for the leadership change, but speculations are that the recent Chemtool fire as well as the Rouen fire was the reason for the leadership change.

Lubrizol Corp., based in Wickliffe, Ohio, is one of the largest additives manufacturers in the world, with a global footprint. Berkshire Hathaway acquired Lubrizol Corp. in 2011.

​​Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest publicly traded companies worldwide, with a market capitalization of more than USD600 billion. Until a name change on April 30, 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Energy was known as MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.

Brown, a graduate of the Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., joined Berkshire Hathaway in October 2020, after decades of leadership experience in energy and infrastructure. Prior to joining Berkshire Hathaway, he served for about eight years at Vestas as president for sales and service operations in the United States and Canada, growing the business into the largest supplier of wind turbines in North America. He also served for two years as chief operating officer of the city of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., plus time as a senior executive in the offshore wind industry, a large U.S. utility company and an international utility. Brown’s international business exposure included a post in Singapore as senior vice president of SP Group from 1996 to 2004. ​​Formerly known as Singapore Power, SP Group is a government-owned electricity and gas distribution company in Singapore, the sole electrical grid and gas grid operator in Singapore.

Brown graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Delaware in 1983 and was a Fullbright Scholar in Economics and Finance from Bonn University in 1984. 

Schnur, a graduate of Penn State University in 1989 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Case Western Reserve University in 1994 with an MBA, joined Lubrizol in 1989. He served various roles, including as marketing and technical services manager based in Singapore from 1998 to 2000, before being promoted to vice president of driveline and industrial in 2000. In 2007, he became vice president and general manager of performance coatings. In 2008, Schnur became president of Lubrizol Advanced Materials. In 2016, he became president and chief operating officer of Lubrizol Corp. He took over as chairman and CEO in January 2017, following the retirement of James Hambrick. He has served in this position for nearly five years.