DuPont News: DuPont CEO: Positioning for Growth

Tue, 12/22/2009 - 1:26pm
Ellen engages in dialogue with Executive MBA students at the University of Delaware. 
Ellen engages in dialogue with Executive MBA students at the University of Delaware. 
Ellen receives a plaque from Paul Rollison, following her presentation. 
Ellen receives a plaque from Paul Rollison, following her presentation.
The University of Delaware (UD) recently invited DuPont CEO  Ellen Kullman to speak to students in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program and other guests as part of its Executive Speaker Series, featuring key leaders. Her presentation, “Positioning for Growth in a Changed Economic Landscape,” summarizes Ellen’s thoughts about what DuPont is doing and where the company is going.

“Ellen treated the students and guests to a powerful presentation that covered DuPont’s history and growth in global markets, in addition to core values and environmental stewardship,” said  Paul Rollison, UD’s Executive MBA program director.  “Following the talk and Ellen’s answers to many questions, students left with a better understanding of DuPont’s goals and objectives. They enjoyed talking with her following the program, appreciating her candid and thoughtful responses to their questions. They’re already incorporating some of her feedback in their course work.”

Here are some highlights of Ellen’s presentation:

“DuPont has emerged from each [economic] downturn stronger than it entered it,” Ellen said. “A good example is how we maintained our engine of innovation during the Great Depression. By 1937, 40% of the company’s sales came from products that did not exist in 1929. Our competitors took years to catch up.

“I’m proud of the progress we’re making,” she added. “Simply put, we did what we said we would do. [This] is important not just because [it] helped us navigate through 2009 – but because these actions further strengthen the foundation we will build on going forward:

  • Stay close to customers
  • Emphasize market-driven science
  • Dramatically reduce costs
  • Focus on cash
  • Increase transparency

“Our people and our laboratories in more than 70 countries are linked to the markets, customers and end-users of our products, and that drives our science and innovation,” Ellen said.  “We are real clear on what’s driving our science – four megatrends that we believe are going to continue to exert influence globally regardless of economic development

“During my 21 years with this company, I’ve had the good fortune to work with people who have been able to take DuPont’s capability in science and technology, marry it to the market and turn innovation into profits,” Ellen concluded. “That’s our formula for success.”





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