Emerson Electric CEO says all costs and businesses are under scrutiny

BOSTON (Reuters) - Emerson Electric Co EMR.N Chief Executive David Farr said on Tuesday that "everything is on the table" as the industrial products company takes a top-to-bottom look at its cost structure and business units.

Emerson has been under pressure from hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co to cut costs and even split up the company. During a conference call with investors, Farr did not rule out anything, but added: “We are in control of our destiny.”

Farr said, however, that D.E. Shaw’s candidate for Emerson’s board of directors, Mark Blinn, leap-frogged over two other candidates being considered. Emerson named Blinn, former CEO of Flowserve, to the company’s board.

Farr said he is working with the board to re-assess the company.

“We’re taking a look at all of the portfolio of Emerson. What assets make sense, what assets don’t make sense,” Farr said.

“This is something we do all the time, but we’ve really put a little bit more effort into it,” Farr added. “We’d like to look at this, especially when we go into a downturn.

“It allows us to remix, and it also allows us to have a chance to say, ‘Where do we want to invest from an acquisition standpoint?’” he said. “So everything on the table.”

Reporting by Tim McLaughlin; Editing by Sandra Maler and Dan Grebler