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Quaker Houghton CEO Michael F. Barry to step down by year end

Quaker Houghton (NYSE: KWR) announced that Michael F. Barry will retire from his role as CEO on December 31, 2021.  He will retain the role of chairman of the Board following his retirement.  The Quaker Houghton Board of Directors said it is committed to a strong, orderly process and transition with a comprehensive search that will include internal and external candidates.

Barry joined the company in 1998. On May 13, 2009, he was elected as chairman of the Board, in addition to his current position as chief executive officer and president, which he has held since October 2008. He first became a member of the Board in October 2008. 

Prior to this position, he was the companyโ€™s senior vice president and managing director โ€“ North America, beginning January 2006. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the steel and metalworking/coatings businesses throughout North America, including two subsidiaries, AC Products, Inc. and Epmar Corporation. 

Barry was named senior vice president and global industry leader โ€“ Metalworking and Coatings in July 2005, with responsibility for the companyโ€™s global metalworking and coatings businesses through December 2005. From January 2004 through June 2005, he held the position of vice president and global industry leader โ€“ Industrial Metalworking and Coatings and, from 1998 through August 2004, he held the position of vice president and chief financial officer.

Barry joined what was then Quaker Chemical from Lyondell (formerly Arco Chemical) where he was business director for its Americas urethanes business and also held various finance and line management positions. In addition to graduating from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering, he earned a Master’s Degree with Distinction from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Quaker Chemical Corporation and Houghton International merged on August 1, 2019 and became known as Quaker Houghton.

“The future of Quaker Houghton has never been brighter,โ€ Barry said.  โ€œThis year we will take a step change in our profitability, we will have essentially completed our integration, and we will pay down more debt to reach our targeted leverage ratio.”  

He added: โ€œWe have the right strategy in place, a strong management team, tremendous people throughout our organization, and above market growth opportunities in our businesses for the foreseeable future โ€“ making this the right time to begin the transition of the CEO role to new leadership,โ€ said Barry.