Alcan answers the succession issue and moves on to taming costs

Oct 21, 2005 | 07:16 AM | David Brooks

When Travis Engen, president and chief executive officer of Alcan Inc., hands over the reins of the company to Richard B. Evans next March, it will mark the end of the five-year tenure that has seen the Montreal-based company transform.

The acquisition of Pechiney SA, Paris, and the subsequent spin-off of Alcan's rolled products division into Novelis Inc., Atlanta, were two of the most significant developments in the company's history and have Engen's fingerprints all over them.

The challenge for Evans as chief executive officer will be to put his own mark on the company and set a new path forward.

"I don't expect any major changes in strategy," Evans said during a telephone interview. "I have worked closely with Travis in the last four-and-a-half years, so it would be surprising if there were major changes. The broad strategy of four business groups, each with value and growth opportunities, (remains)." He added that he was part of the team that planned the divestment of Novelis and has also helped introduce Alcan's integrated management system.

Evans, 58, has been one of two senior executive vice presidents in the office of the president, and of the two has the longer tenure. Michael Hanley, who will assume the role of chief financial officer on a full-time basis, was the other.....

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