The Supervisory Board of global specialty chemicals supplier Cognis has appointed Paul Allen (Executive Vice President Functional Products), Stephane Baseden (Executive Vice President Nutrition & Health) and Richard Ridinger (Executive Vice President Care Chemicals) to the Management Board. This step has been taken with the aim to further support its strategy of focusing on its customers’ demands and its innovation-driven markets even stronger.
Paul Allen (54) has been head of Cognis’ Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Functional Products since January 2006, and President of Cognis Corporation in the US since February 2004. After studying foreign languages and business studies at the University of Bath in the UK and the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany, Allen went on to study at the London Institute of Purchasing and Supply. This was followed by positions at several international companies, before becoming European business manager of Diamond Shamrock Process Chemicals in 1985. After this company was acquired by Henkel, Allen took over as head of Henkel Canada in 1988. From 1991, he worked at Henkel Corporation (later Cognis Corporation) in the USA and was employed in a variety of posts. Allen was in charge of the Nutrition & Health SBU from 2002 to October 2005.
Stephane Baseden (47) has been responsible for the SBU Nutrition & Health since November 2005. Baseden holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Surrey, England, and an MBA from ISSEC, France. Prior to joining Cognis as Managing Director France in 2003 – a position he still holds today – he had over 20 years’ experience of management positions in a variety of functions and locations within the Unilever group, where his last position was head of DiverseyLever Asia-Pacific. In 2004 Baseden took over the responsibility for Nutrition & Health Europe next to his role in France.
Richard Ridinger (48) has been in charge of the SBU Care Chemicals since 2001. He studied chemical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe. Ridinger started as a scientific employee in the sector of process technology at Henkel Research and Technology in February 1986. Two years later, he was production engineer in the fatty alcohol production. In 1992, he was promoted to production manager for the Fatty Chemical Derivatives production and, from 1995 onwards, additionally for the section Organic Products. He took over the management of the newly grounded organization
for the production of derivatives in Düsseldorf in 1997. He transferred to the Care Chemicals business in 1999 as the Global Business Director for Skin Care.
Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 8,000 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles, as well as agriculture and mining. The company holds a 50-percent stake in the joint venture Cognis Oleochemicals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of oleochemicals.
Cognis is indirectly owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2005, Cognis recorded sales of 3.18 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and exceptional items) of 356 million euros.