Dupont Chief Executive Officer Uses Her Parenting Experience

by admin on January 14, 2011

Chief Executive Officer Ellen J. Kullman, 54, who took the helm of Dupont two years ago, has just landed a $5.8 billion deal to buy Danisco, a Danish company that uses biotechology to develop industrial enzymes that are catalysts used to make ethanol, food, animal feed, and textiles. The acquisition will make DuPont, already the world’s largest car-paint maker and the second-biggest seed supplier, the No. 1 producer of food additives and the second-largest maker of enzymes used to make biofuels.

The first woman to lead 208-year-old DuPont, Kullman says her experience as a parent helped her instill the discipline needed to bring her company through the recession. Kullman said she centered fearful employees by having them focus on what they could control, whether that was customers or costs or inventories. “I am a much better leader because I had three kids,” she said. “With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.”

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