Jim Fitterling will be named CEO of the new Dow when it spins off from DowDuPont

Jim Fitterling (pictured above, right) will become the first openly LGBT+ person to head a major chemical company, DowDuPont announced this week.

The company plans to spin off its materials sciences division into a publicly traded business called Dow, which Fitterling will lead, next year.

Fitterling has long been seen as next in line for a top job at Dow Chemical, where he’s risen through the ranks since 1984.

When he spoke at Out Leadership’s U.S. LGBT+ Senior Leader Summit in 2015, Fitterling discussed the transformative impact coming out had on his career: “Coming out was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulder. I’ve been a different person since I did it. I’ve been different to work with, and I can relate to more people at the office.”

DowDuPont is the world’s largest chemical company by sales.

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