QUINCY, MASS., July 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors of Myriant Corporation today announced that Stephen J. Gatto has resigned as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gatto will continue to serve on the company's Board of Directors providing his insights, industry expertise and strategic counsel. Cenan Ozmeral, Ph.D., Myriant's Chief Operating Officer, has been named President of the Company and will continue to integrate commercial operations for the Company.
Stephen J. Gatto, Myriant's founder, commented, "Leading Myriant day to day has been one of my greatest endeavors and I am so proud of the precedent-setting milestones the company has achieved over the last number of years. Many of these challenged the boundaries of the bio-based chemicals industry. The time has come to pass the reigns as the company transitions to a fully-integrated operating business to allow me more time to focus on strategy as a member of the Board. I believe that the next era in the company's evolution will be its greatest and I have full confidence in Cenan and rest of the Myriant team to continue to execute against our plan and achieve great success on the path to commercialization."
Dr. Ozmeral joined Myriant in November 2008 following his 29-year career at leading chemical manufacturer, BASF. Most recently at BASF, Dr. Ozmeral served as Vice President of BASF's Acrylic Dispersions and XSB Latex Business, NAFTA Region, a unit with annual sales of US$1.8 billion. In this position he was responsible for manufacturing and R &D operations, had full P &L responsibility. Dr. Ozmeral also ran BASF's business units in Petrochemicals, Industrial Organics and Plasticizer Chemicals. During this period, he oversaw the largest capital investment in BASF's North American history, a $1.3 billion steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas and the world's largest butadiene extraction unit. He was responsible for $4 billion in sales and oversaw a staff of 1,500 employees. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ozmeral was also responsible for 1,4-Butanediol sales in North America and gained extensive experience in marketing specialty diols, intermediates, and agrochemicals. Dr. Ozmeral holds an MBA from Louisiana State University, a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans in Organic Chemistry, an M.S. from Pennsylvania State and a B.S. from Robert College, both in Chemistry.
"This is a tremendous time to lead Myriant, particularly as the organization transitions to a fully- integrated commercial operation," said Dr. Ozmeral. "Myriant can proudly claim to have the world's largest operating bio-succinic acid plant with on-spec product already produced and commercial-grade product shipments underway. The Myriant team is making great strides bringing this plant to steady-state operations while at the same time advancing our U.S. expansion strategy for bio-succinic acid and its derivatives."
Mr. Steven Sisselman, Lead Director for Myriant's Board commented, "We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Ozmeral has accepted the position of President of Myriant. Dr. Ozmeral's experience in a highly-competitive market dominated by long-established petrochemical companies will serve Myriant well as the Company transitions to global commercial operations."
Mr. Sisselman continued, "On behalf of the Myriant Board of Directors, I'd like to thank Stephen for his vision and leadership over the years. Stephen has built a world-class organization with an exceptional management team and under his direction Myriant has achieved leadership status in the burgeoning bio-based chemicals industry. The Company is well-positioned and prepared for this next stage of growth."
About Myriant Corporation
Myriant is a global leader innovating and commercializing bio-based chemical intermediates. Myriant enables its customers to achieve their sustainability initiatives by utilizing renewable feedstocks to produce high-value, cost-advantaged chemicals, including bio-succinic acid and its derivatives. Myriant is currently commercializing its bio-succinic acid platform from two operating chemical plants: The first is Myriant's flagship plant in Lake Providence, LA; the other, a commercial validation facility located in Leuna, Germany, which is operated by Myriant's global partner, ThyssenKrupp Uhde. Myriant, together with Johnson Matthey - Davy Technologies (JM Davy), combined the efficiencies of their respective chemical processes for the production of cost-competitive bio-BDO and bio-THF made from Myriant's bio-succinic acid, yielding overall carbon efficiency of 87%. Myriant is also advancing its proprietary, low-cost, high-purity process for bio-acrylic acid. Myriant commercialized D(-) lactic acid in 2008 for the production of polylactic acid (PLA), which is used to make biodegradable plastic. More information about Myriant's pipeline of renewable chemicals can be found at www.myriant.com. Myriant is a 2013 Red Herring Top 100 Company in North America.
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