DowDuPont, the world’s largest chemical company, announced on Monday that its openly gay COO Jim Fitterling would become the company’s chief executive officer.
The company completed its merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont last August with plans to split into three separate publicly-traded companies: specialty products, agriculture and materials science.
Fitterling will lead the materials sciences company to be named simply “Dow.”
“I am very excited and humbled to lead Dow into its next phase of growth,” said Fitterling in a statement.
Fitterling as spent his entire professional life at Dow starting there in 1984. He came out professionally in 2014.
Since coming out, he has become involved in LGBTQ business events like PIMCO Pride, Out Leadership’s “Out on the Street” summit, and delivered the keynote speech at Linked-In’s gathering of 100 LGBT leaders.
Fitterling joins a very exclusive group of LGBTQ CEOs of Fortune 500 companies: Qantas Airline’s Alan Joyce, Tim Cook at Apple, and Inga Beales, CEO of Lloyd’s of London.
Jim Fitterling President & COO of @DowChemical shares moving stories about the extraordinary impact his ‘coming out’ had on Dow’s employees pic.twitter.com/3gwEGrvmdm
— OUTstanding (@OUTstandingiB) June 22, 2017