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.