Some of the biggest business names in the Cincinnati-Dayton region have one thing in common this year besides location: new leadership.
“When you look around at what’s happening with new business leadership, new ways of thinking, we’re increasing (young professional) talent moving to the region, there are so many things hitting right now that I feel like we’re that close to the tipping point,” said Jill Meyer, who herself took a new role as president and chief executive officer in September of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
“What I see is more people taking ownership of this region that they love,” Meyer said.
New CEOs and other top managers have recently taken charge of the following area companies:
• The Procter & Gamble Co.: The Cincinnati-based consumer goods giant appointed last year David Taylor to the role of president and chief executive. He succeeded A.G. Lafley in the position effective Nov. 1, while Lafley has stayed close by as executive chairman.
These changes have taken place at a time when P&G has focused more on core brands and divested others. “The company is now organized into four industry-based sectors with a focused portfolio of 10 categories and 65 brands that play to P&G’s strengths. Productivity results are strong and sustainable. Stronger category business and product innovation plans are in place. Now is the time to transition…” said Jim McNerney, lead director of P&G’s board, in a written statement released July 2015.
• The Kroger Co.: After the promotion last year of Sukanya Madlinger to senior vice president of retail divisions for the Cincinnati-based grocer, a new president of the Cincinnati/Dayton Division — Tim Brown — was named in her place and Brown filled the local role last fall.
“What I take from here, is you can’t lose that focus on the customer,” Madlinger previously told this news outlet.
• AK Steel Holding Corp.: The Butler County steelmaker has a new CEO and a new strategy to start 2016. Roger Newport became CEO in January after the retirement of James Wainscott (who’s still chairman), and told investor analysts at the end of January when releasing financial results that the West Chester Twp.-based manufacturer has reduced sales to the spot market. The steel producer is shifting gears to focus on value-added products and markets that provide a “reasonable return,” Newport said.
• TriHealth: Long-time CEO of the hospital network John Prout retired at the end of 2015. One of the area’s largest hospital systems is now in the hands of at least two new leaders to the network. Mark Clement, who joined TriHealth in 2015 as president, assumed the additional role of CEO in January, while Prout stays on as an advisor. Also Gail Donovan joined the nonprofit health system as of December as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
TriHealth has expanded in Butler County in recent years following the 2012 acquisition of the former Butler County Medical Center on Hamilton Mason Road in Hamilton. At that site it now operates Bethesda Butler Hospital, and last year completed an affiliation agreement with McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford.
• Fifth Third Bancorp: In addition to P&G, Kroger and AK Steel, another Cincinnati-area based Fortune 500 company with new area leadership is Fifth Third Bank. It was announced last year former CEO Kevin Kabat intends to retire in April; meanwhile, Greg Carmichael became president and CEO effective in November. Kabat is currently executive vice chairman.
• LCNB Corp.: The Warren County-based bank has a new CEO, but he’s a familiar face. Former CEO Stephen Wilson retired in that role at that end of the year, but still holds the title of chairman. Bank president Steve Foster is now also CEO.
• Butler Technology and Career Development Schools: One of Ohio’s largest career schools is narrowing down its search for a new superintendent to replace Bill Miller, who retired last year.
• Pilot Chemical: One of the region’s largest privately-held companies, Sharonville-based Pilot Chemical, named at the end of last year the fourth CEO in company history. Paul Morrisroe retired in October as CEO, but is still an active owner and chairman, according to the company. Pamela Butcher succeeded Morrisroe as chief executive.
Pilot Chemical also operates plants in Middletown and Lockland.
• Tire Discounters: The Cincinnati-based chain of auto service stores brought back at the beginning of this year founder Chip Wood to be CEO as the company undertakes a national expansion strategy, having opened its 100th store nationwide. Now-president Jamie Ward said in 2014 the company’s aggressive growth plans are to open about about 12 new stores a year.
• Chambers of commerce: In addition to Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Oxford Chamber of Commerce in Butler County and Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce in Warren County also have new leaders — President Kelli Riggs and Executive Director Kim Hadhazy, respectively.
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