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Newell Brands CEO Michael Polk to retire at end of second quarter

Michael Polk CEO of Newell Brands
Richard Drew | AP Photo

Newell Brands announced Thursday that President and CEO Michael Polk will retire at the end of the second quarter.

As Newell approaches the end of its "accelerated transformation plan," it and Polk agreed that it "is the right time for a management transition." The company, which owns consumer brands like Rubbermaid, said it has begun to look for Polk's successor and has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

"I am proud of the progress we have made since 2011 transforming the portfolio and building a set of competitively advantaged capabilities in innovation, design and eCommerce," Polk said in a statement.

Polk has served as CEO and president since 2011. He has also been a member of Newell's board since 2009.

Patrick Campbell, non-executive independent chairman of Newell's board, said in a statement that Polk was a key figure behind the company's strategy as it sought global growth and diversification.

As of their Thursday close, shares of Newell have fallen about 46 percent in the past 12 months.

Last month, Newell shares plummeted after the company issued full-year sales and profit forecast below expectations. The company said it was hit by inflationary pressures, including tariffs and a strong dollar. Newell said it expected those environmental factors to take a $200 million bite out of profits in 2019.

Newell projected full-year sales between $8.2 billion and $8.4 billion, below a Refinitiv consensus estimate for $8.78 billion.

—Reuters contributed to this report.