×

First on CNBC: CNBC Transcript: DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman Speaks With CNBC’s Mary Thompson on “Squawk On The Street” Today

WHEN: Today, Wednesday, May 13th

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today. Following is the link to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000379027.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

MARY THOMPSON: THANK YOU, DAVID. AS YOU SAID, THE DUPONT MEETING JUST CONCLUDED. AND THE COMPANY'S SLATE OF DIRECTORS WINNING THE NOMINATION. THE COMPANY MANAGING DEFEAT OF TRIAN'S BID TO UNSEAT FOUR OF THOSE DIRECTORS. JOINING US NOW, WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING JOINED BY ELLEN KULLMAN ON THIS VERY WINDY DAY. THE CEO OF DUPONT. MY FIRST QUESTION TO IS, WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU FOUND OUT THAT DUPONT DID INDEED WIN THIS PROXY FIGHT?

ELLEN KULLMAN: WE HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH OUR SHAREHOLDERS OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS AND DAYS. AND WE HAVE RECEIVED A LOT OF GOOD FEEDBACK AND WE ARE VERY ENCOURAGED BY WHAT THEY SAID. BUT IN THESE KIND OF SITUATIONS YOU NEVER KNOW. AND SO, WE'RE PLEASED WITH THE OUTCOME AND I THINK IT HAS BEEN A REALLY GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO ENGAGE WITH OUR SHAREHOLDERS AND UNDERSTAND HOW THEY THINK.

THOMPSON: HOW CLOSE WAS THE FIGHT? BECAUSE BY ALL INDICATIONS, IT SEEMS THAT THE VOTE WAS VERY CLOSE. CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE?

KULLMAN: WE DON'T HAVE FINAL NUMBERS YET. AND WE WON'T FOR A FEW DAYS UNTIL IT GETS FILED. SO IT'S HARD TO TELL.

THOMPSON: CAN YOU GIVE US A RANGE OF WHERE IT WAS?

KULLMAN: NO, I REALLY CAN'T. I DON'T WANT TO PRESUME WHAT THE NUMBERS ARE, BUT I THINK THAT WILL HAVE TO BE FILED AND WE WILL BE ABLE TO TELL THAT.

THOMPSON: AT THE END OF THE MEETING YOU SAID THERE'S MORE WORK TO BE DONE AT DUPONT. WHAT IS IT YOU'RE PLANNING TO DO OVER THE NEXT YEAR?

KULLMAN: WELL, IT'S A VERY EXCITING TIME FOR US. BECAUSE WE'RE SIX WEEKS AWAY FROM THE SPIN OF CHEMOURS. SO THAT'S OUR CHEMICAL SEGMENT, WE'RE SPINNING IT TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS JULY 1ST. IT'S A STRONG COMPANY, BUT IT IS A COMMODITY CHEMICAL ACCOMPANY. AT THE SAME TIME WE'RE LAUNCHING THE NEW DUPONT. A DUPONT THAT IS HIGHER VALUE, A DUPONT THAT IS HIGHER GROWTH, FOCUSED ON OUR WHERE OUR SCIENCE MATTERS AND OUR CUSTOMERS AROUND THE WORLD. AND SO IT'S A BIG SEPARATION FOR US, IT'S A BIG CHANGE. BUT OUR WORK IS NEVER DONE. THE WORLD CHANGES, COMPETITIVE DYNAMICS CHANGE AND WE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE OPEN TO UNDERSTANDING THAT AND SEEING WHAT'S GOING TO CREATE THE BEST VALUE FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS GOING FORWARD. AND IT'S A VERY DYNAMIC TIME AND WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE.

THOMPSON: IN THE MEETING MR. PELTZ SAID THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE, TRIAN, WHICH HOLDS A LITTLE LESS THAN 3% OF THE COMPANY'S STOCK, WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR DUPONT. THAT MEANS YOU'RE LIKELY TO ENGAGE WITH HIM ON A CONTINUING BASIS, I'M ASSUMING. DESCRIBE TO US WHAT IS YOUR ENGAGEMENT WITH MR. PELTZ LIKE AND WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE HE'LL BE PUSHING FOR IN THE MONTHS AHEAD?

KULLMAN: WE ENGAGE WITH TRIAN AS WE HAVE ENGAGED WITH ALL OF OUR SHAREHOLDERS. VERY OPENLY AND TELLING OUR STORY AND UNDERSTANDING WHERE THEY ARE COMING FROM. WE'LL CONTINUE TO ENGAGE WITH THEM IN A VERY CONSTRUCTIVE WAY, WE'LL CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON DELIVERING VALUE FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS. I MEAN, IT'S HARD TO PREDICT THE FUTURE BUT I THINK THAT THE FOCUS OF ALL OF US IS ON THE CREATION OF SHAREHOLDER VALUE AND THE STRONGER COMPANY GOING FORWARD.

THOMPSON: HE WAS VERY CRITICAL IN THE MEETING, AGAIN, OF MANAGEMENT SAYING YOU KNOW, THAT THERE'S MORE WORK TO BE DONE. HE SAID HE DOESN'T THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO HIT YOUR FORECAST FOR 2015. WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSES TO THOSE COMMENTS?

KULLMAN: THOSE HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT COMMENTS HE'S MADE OVER TIME. SO THEY WERE NO SURPRISE. WE'RE FOCUSED IN OUR COMPANY ON DELIVERING OUR SCIENCE OUT TO OUR MARKETPLACE, CREATING VALUE FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS AND TOP LINE GROWTH. THINK THE BIGGEST CHANGE IS COMING UP HERE JULY 1STWITH THE SPIN OF CHEMOURS.

THOMPSON: WOULD YOU THEN LOOK AT THE REMAINING PARTS OF THE COMPANY AND CONSIDER SPLITTING THOSE IN TWO AS TRIAN HAS ASKED THE BOARD AT LEAST TO CONSIDER?

KULLMAN: WE HAVE REALLY FOCUSED ON THEIR FOUR WHITE PAPERS IN WHICH THEY'VE ENGAGED WITH THE BOARD IN A FOUR WAY SPLIT UP A THREE WAY SPLIT UP AND NOW A TWO WAY SPLIT UP. OUR BOARDS HAD OUTSIDE ADVISERS HELPING THEM AND MANAGEMENT WITH THESE DECISIONS. AS WE LOOK AT IT TODAY, THAT WILL BE VALUE DESTRUCTIVE OF THE COMPANY. THE HIGHER SHAREHOLDER VALUE IS FOCUSSING ON DRIVING TOP LINE GROWTH AND MARGIN EXPANSION THROUGH INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY IN THE COMPANY. THAT'S NOT A FOREVER THING. WE'RE CONSTANTLY LOOKING AT THE MARKET DYNAMICS TO UNDERSTAND IF THERE'S A STRONGER AND MORE POWERFUL WAY. THAT'S PART OF THE BOARD PROCESS ITS PART OF OUR PROCESS AS MANAGEMENT. SO WE CONTINUE TO FOCUS AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR US TO DELIVER THAT VALUE?

THOMPSON: HE IS ALSO SAID THAT THE COMPANY NEEDS TO BE MORE PROGRESSIVE ABOUT CUTTING COSTS AND YOU HAVE THIS FRESH START PROGRAM UNDERWAY SHOULD WE BE LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL CUTS DOWN THE ROAD THOUGH?

KULLMAN: WE'VE BEEN FOCUSSED ON CUTTING COST. I'VE BEEN MY MANAGEMENT TEAM HAS BEEN HERE FOR SIX UEARS WE'VE TAKEN OUT $2 BILLION OF COST BEFORE THE FRESH START PROGRAM. FRESH START WAS REALLY A REDEFINING THE CORPORATE CENTERS AND FUNCTIONAL SUPPORT OF THE BUSINESSES BASED ON THE FACT THAT 30% OF OUR COMPANY IS LEFT THE COMPANY. WE'RE A SMALLER COMPANY A MORE FOCUSED ON SCIENCE AND INNOVATION AND WE'RE STRUCTURING TO THAT. WE'RE ALSO PUTTING UP A NEW TRANSACTIONAL SYSTEM IN THE COMPANY TO FURTHER INCREASE EFFICIENCIES EVEN BEYOND FRESH START. SO WE'RE CONTINUALLY, IT'S A COMPETITIVE WORLD OUT THERE. WE HAVE TO BE CONTINUED TO FOCUS ON PRODUCTIVITY IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO COMPETE EFFECTIVELY AGAINST OUR VERY STRONG COMPETITORS OUT THERE.

THOMPSON: I WANT TO ASK YOU THOUGH, HE POINTS OUT THAT THE COMPANY HAS CONTINUALLY MISSED ON THE GUIDANCE THAT THEY'VE GIVEN. ARE YOU GOING TO CHANGE IT ALL, HOW YOU GIVE GUIDANCE IN THE FUTURE, TRY TO BE MORE SPECIFIC? HE DID HAVE A POINT IN THAT THE COMPANY HAS FAILED TO MEET THE GUIDANCE THAT THEY HAVE GIVEN IN THE PAST.

KULLMAN: IN THE SIX YEARS I'VE BEEN IN, WE'VE MET OUR RANGE TWO YEARS, WE'VE EXCEEDED OUR RANGE TWO YEARS AND WE FELL SHORT TWO YEARS. I'M NOT SURE HOW THAT CONSISTENT WORD IS THERE. IN THE TWO YEARS WE FELL SHORT ONE WAS WHEN THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY TURNED DOWN. WE'RE VERY TRANSPARENT. IT JUST WASN'T US IT WAS ALL OF OUR COMPETITORS IN THAT AREA. AND THE SECOND TIME WAS WHEN THE AG INDUSTRY TURNED DOWN LAST YEAR. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE, MARKET MOVES ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO FORECAST. MAYBE YOU CAN SEE THEM IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR. BUT THEY'RE HARD TO SEE LOOKING FORWARD. WE CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON HOW WE CAN FORECAST BETTER BUT WE'RE ALWAYS VERY TRANSPARENT WITH OUR SHAREHOLDERS AROUND WHAT WE SEE AS PROSPECTS FOR OUR BUSINESS WHERE THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE.

THOMPSON: HOW MUCH TIME HAS THIS TAKEN? IT'S BEEN A VERY PUBLIC FIGHT. IT'S BEEN A VERY PROLONGED FIGHT. HOW MUCH TIME HAS IT TAKEN?

KULLMAN: YOU KNOW THE EXCITING PART ABOUT IT IS WE'RE LAUNCHING THE NEW DUPONT AND WE'VE TAKEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT THE NEW DUPONT WHEN WE'RE OUT WITH OUR SHAREHOLDERS. SO WORK WE WOULD HAVE DONE IN JUNE WE DID IN APRIL AND MAY. AND SO I THINK THOSE ENGAGEMENTS HAVE BEEN VERY VERY FOCUSED ON HOW WE'RE GOING TO CREATE VALUE GOING FORWARD AND THEN HAVE BEEN VERY POSITIVE. I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME TODAY. THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY.

THOMPSON: OKAY. ELLEN, THANK YOU AGAIN. WE'VE BEEN SPEAKING WITH ELLEN KULLMAN WHOSE IS THE CEO OF DUPONT. BACK TO YOU.

About CNBC:

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD , CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 371 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms. These include CNBC.com, the online destination for global business; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides real-time global market data and live access to CNBC global programming; and a suite of CNBC Mobile products including the CNBC Real-Time iPhone and iPad Apps.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/.