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Kullman stepping down as DuPont CEO

Photo courtesy: DuPont Co.

DuPont's first female CEO is retiring effective next week.

The Wilmington-based chemical company announced Ellen Kullman will step down as CEO and company chairwoman October 16.

DuPont board member Edward Breen will take her place as interim CEO and chair while they seek a full time replacement.  An executive recruitment firm has been hired to handle the search.


In a statement, Kullman thanked her team for work that she says has streamlined the company and encouraged innovation. Now, she said, it's time for a new leader to "continue to drive the pace of change."



Kullman’s departure comes after DuPont successfully spun off chemical manufacturing companyChemours in July -- and in May survived a proxy showdown with activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management.  Trian, which owns 2.7 percent of DuPont shares, sought to put four of its candidates on the board in an effort make up to $4 billion in cuts by splitting DuPont in two.


Kullman has been with DuPont since 1988.  She was named the company's  president in October 2008, then became the first woman CEO in DuPont's 212 year history in January 2009.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for nearly three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.