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SI Group hires new outsider CEO

For only the second time in more than a century, SI Group has looked outside the company for its new

For only the second time in more than a century, SI Group has looked outside the company for its new president and chief executive officer.

The Niskayuna-based manufacturer of chemicals announced it has hired Frank Bozich, the president of BASF’s catalysts division, to succeed the retiring Stephen Large. SI Group officials say Bozich, who has a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois, will bring both technical expertise and veteran leadership to his new role with the company.

“Frank is a seasoned executive with deep industry knowledge, strong leadership skills and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Wallace Graham, the chairman of SI Group’s Board of Directors. “His background, experience and style make him uniquely qualified to lead us in achieving our growth objectives.”

Like the founders of SI Group, Bozich has experience building a business from the ground up. He founded Apex Adhesives, which was sold to Croda Adhesives in 1993.

Later, he secured a leadership position at Rohm and Haas, now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. He also headed enterprise technologies and ventures at the Engelhard Corporation, a company that was acquired by BASF in 2006.

While at chemical-maker BASF, Bozich served as group vice president of precious and base metal services and as the group vice president of the company’s integration management office. He was appointed president of the company’s catalysts division in 2010.

Large, who had worked at a Minnesota-based resin company, was hired by SI Group in 2007, the year after the company changed its name to SI Group during its centennial celebration. He is credited with implementing a five-year strategic planning process and challenging the company’s leadership to identify internal efficiencies.

SI Group employs roughly 2,000 people at 20 sites in 11 countries across the globe. Locally, the company employs a total of 350 workers at its Niskayuna headquarters and its manufacturing plant in Rotterdam Junction.

Large has announced his plan to retire by the end of 2013, when his contract with SI Group is set to expire. Company officials have indicated he will remain a member of the board to provide continuity during the change in leadership.

SI Group’s board of directors searched both internally and externally for a new leader. Bozich becomes the eighth president in SI Group’s 107-year history and only the second to ascend to the post from outside of the privately held company.

Graham said Bozich was chosen for his exceptional leadership skills, deep understanding of the chemical industry and global experience. Also, he said Bozich’s experience starting a company played into the decision to hire him to head SI Group.

“Throughout our search process, the board focused on finding and appointing the right person — whether internal or external — to be SI Group’s next leader, and we are confident we have found that person,” he said in an email to The Daily Gazette.

Bozich is expected to take over the helm of SI Group in late May. He said he intends to move to the Capital Region in the near future.

“I am proud and honored to have been selected as the next leader for SI Group,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the board and executive leadership team to build a growth agenda that supports the company’s strategic vision.”

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