Volume 37, Issue 6, June 2002


Shake-Up at the Top: Pilkington's Scaroni and Knowlton Exit Company

Pilkington PLC's chief executive Paolo Scaroni has announced that he is leaving Pilkington to join Italy-based ENEL Spa, an electricity company with annual sales of more than $30 billion EURO. Stuart Chambers, currently an executive director and president of building products worldwide, will take over his role as chief executive. Pat Zito, former head of auto glass operations, was to assume responsibility for Pilkington's worldwide business on May 24. In his former position, Zito was responsible for the integration and restructuring of Pilkington's European automotive OE operations and the creation of a pan-European business. He subsequently oversaw the merger of the European and North American OE operations into a single business, according to the company.

Scaroni said he was made an offer he could not refuse, but that he will still be involved with the company as a prominent shareholder.

"Only an opportunity of this scale would persuade me to relinquish my position as Pilkington group chief executive," Scaroni said. "As deputy chairman and a major shareholder in Pilkington, I will continue to actively participate in the successful future development of the Group."

According to company chairperson Nigel Rudd, the company has blossomed under Scaroni's watch.
"We are enormously appreciative of the significant transformation that Paolo has achieved at Pilkington. In five years he and his senior team have transformed the Group from a loose confederation of under-performing glass businesses into a world leader in glass manufacturing with a strong management team," Rudd said.

In addition, Warren Knowlton, president of Pilkington North America, is leaving the company as the result of a management reorganization that seeks to group the company along product rather than geographic lines. Knowlton will leave the company on July 30.

According to various news reports, Knowlton's positions as president of North American operations and president of worldwide automotive operations are both being eliminated. Zito will be responsible for Knowlton's former responsibilities, in addition to Scaroni's. Zito will work from offices in both Toledo and London.

Knowlton brought a number of key executives in the picture at Pilkington, including Richard Karcher, president of building products, who has worked with Knowlton for more than 20 years. 

                                          Asahi Unveils Self-Cleaning Glass

Japan-based Asahi Glass Co., Japan Carlit Co. and Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corp. have announced that they are developing a new process for coating glass with photocatalytic titanium-oxide to prevent the build-up of dirt over time. The glass, which is the company is calling self-cleaning (in the likes of recent products introduced by Pilkington, PPG and Saint Gobain), was developed in cooperation with a professor from Toyama University.

Like the other products introduced in this arena (see January 2002 USGlass, for related story), ultraviolet light is required for the titanium-oxide to work to decompose organic molecules as they accumulate on the glass. In Asahi's process, the titanium-oxide powder is dissolved, then coated on the glass surface and baked to form a tightly adhering film over the glass. Possible applications include use against dirt on tunnel lights.


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