NEW YORK Shale-Inland Holdings LLC has named Frank Riddick executive chairman, replacing Craig Bouchard, who is exiting the company he founded in 2010 in order to explore new opportunities in China.
Riddick, who most recently was chief executive officer of Chicago-based JMC Steel Group Inc. (amm.com, Feb. 8), has been a member of the board of directors of Bellaire, Texas-based Shale-Inland since March 2012.
"An entire generation of Chinas best and brightest are living in the midst of Earths most significant pollution problem. Cancer rates are soaring. I have decided the time is right to make an investment in China," Bouchard said in a statement to employees, adding that he will provide more concrete details of his plans in coming weeks.
Bouchard said his decision was prompted, in part, by Chinas position as a major global manufacturing base. "China is making quality products for us, and for people all over the developed and developing world. As business leaders, we all have a business and moral obligation to help," he told AMM in an e-mail.
Pollution has become an increasingly problematic issue in the Asian nation, with the countrys Ministry of Environmental Protection announcing Jan. 29 that air pollution in several large cities, including Beijing, had deteriorated to "severe" levels.
"During the past many months, I worked on assembling technologies and companies that can attack this environmental disaster," Bouchard wrote.
Shale-Inland, a specialty industrial distributor of pipe, valves, fittings and related products, has grown to 47 branches, recording revenue approaching $1 billion, since its inception. "Im proud of what we have so far achieved," Bouchard said, adding that he will remain the companys third-largest shareholder.
"We thank Mr. Bouchard for his service to Shale-Inland and wish him well as he pursues other interests," chief executive officer Richard Lundgren said in a statement.