February 8, 2012 / 4:25 PM / 7 years ago

3M CEO Buckley to retire; Thulin to succeed him

(Reuters) - 3M Co (MMM.N) said Wednesday that Inge Thulin, currently the company’s chief operating officer, will take over for George Buckley as chief executive on February 24, a day after Buckley hits the company’s mandatory retirement age of 65.

Thulin, 58, has been the expected replacement for Buckley. Buckley became 3M’s chief executive in 2005

Buckley, who is also chairman, will officially retire from the St. Paul, Minnesota-based conglomerate on June 1. The company plans to elect Thulin chairman of 3M at the annual meeting on May 8.

Shares of 3M traded down slightly in Wednesday’s session at $87.85, 4 cents lower than Tuesday’s close.

Analysts have pointed to Thulin as one of the key players on a deep bench of 3M executives who have helped drive the company into new sectors and increase revenue during Buckley’s time leading the company.

In May, following the retirement of its then-chief financial officer, Buckley promoted Thulin to the newly created post of chief operating officer. Thulin, a native of Sweden, joined 3M in 1979 in sales and marketing.

Thulin has spent time managing operations in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, and his deep international experience has been heralded as a key asset by his supporters.

3M makes products ranging from Scotch Tape to stethoscopes to sandpaper. While sectors such as transportation, security products and healthcare are particularly strong for the company of late, electronics and touchscreen displays have suffered under weak customer demand.

Reporting By John D. Stoll; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman

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