June 18, 2014 / 11:30 AM / 3 years ago

Air Products appoints Rockwood's Seifi Ghasemi CEO

June 18 (Reuters) - Industrial gas producer Air Products & Chemicals, under pressure from Bill Ackman to overhaul its management, said it has appointed Seifi Ghasemi chief executive.

Ghasemi, who is currently CEO of specialty chemicals maker Rockwood Holdings Inc, will replace John McGlade.

Air Products & Chemicals announced McGlade’s retirement last September and appointed three independent directors, including Ghasemi, to avoid a fight over board membership with Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management.

The activist investor has said Air Products is undervalued and is underperforming its peers. Pershing Square is Air Products’ largest shareholder, with a 9.7 percent stake.

Ghasemi will take on his new role on July 1, a day after he leaves Rockwood, the companies said on Wednesday.

Rockwood appointed Chief Financial Officer Robert Zatta acting CEO. (Reporting By Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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