SEC Filings

WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORP filed this Form DEF 14A on 04/06/2018
Entire Document

Executive Officer and a director of Copano Energy, L.L.C. until its acquisition by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. in May 2013. Mr. Northcutt had also served as Copano’s President and Chief Operating Officer from April 2003 until November 2009. Mr. Northcutt served as President of El Paso Global Networks Company from November 2001 until April 2003; Managing Director of El Paso Global Networks Company from April 1999 until November 2001 and Vice President, Business Development, of El Paso Gas Services Company from January 1998 until April 1999. From 1988 until 1998, Mr. Northcutt held positions with various levels of responsibility at El Paso Energy and its predecessor, Tenneco Energy, including supervision of pipeline supply and marketing as well as regulatory functions. He began his career with Tenneco Oil Exploration and Production in 1982, working in the areas of drilling and production engineering. Mr. Northcutt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University and is a Registered Professional Engineer on inactive status in the State of Texas.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Northcutt should serve as a director of the Company based primarily on his extensive experience in the energy industry and his experience as a chief executive officer.

H. John Riley, Jr. (age 77). Mr. Riley has been a director since November 2007. Mr. Riley served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cooper Industries, Ltd., from May 1996 until February 2006 and served as its Chief Executive Officer from September 1995 to May 2005. He was President of Cooper Industries, Ltd. from 1992 to 2004, its Chief Operating Officer from 1992 to 1995 and its Executive Vice President, Operations from 1982 to 1992. He was associated with Cooper Industries, Ltd. for more than 40 years. In addition, from 1997 to May 2013 he served as a director of Baker Hughes Incorporated and, from 1998 to May 2014, he served as a director of Allstate Corporation. He currently serves as a director of Post Oak Bank, N.A., a private bank. He is a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and a trustee of Syracuse University. Mr. Riley holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Syracuse University. He also completed the Harvard University Advanced Management Program.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Riley should serve as a director of the Company based primarily on his long experience as a senior officer, including chief executive officer, of a public company engaged in manufacturing. Although Mr. Riley had initially intended to retire at the end of his current term in May 2018, the Board asked that Mr. Riley stand for re-election and serve an additional year in order that the Board might continue to benefit from his leadership while transitioning the new directors onto the board. In connection with the same, the Board waived the age limit set forth in our Principles of Corporate Governance. If re-elected, Mr. Riley intends to step down as a director upon the first anniversary of his re-election.

Class III Directors Serving Until 2019

Robert T. Blakely (age 76). Mr. Blakely has been a director since August 2004. Mr. Blakely served as Chief Financial Officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) from January 2006 until August 2007. He served as Fannie Mae’s Executive Vice President from January 2006 until January 2008. His prior positions include: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MCI, Inc. from April 2003 to January 2006; President of Performance Enhancement Group, Ltd. from July 2002 to April 2003; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Lyondell Chemical Company from November 1999 to June 2002; Executive Vice President of Tenneco Inc. from 1996 to November 1999 and Chief Financial Officer from 1981 to November 1999; and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley & Co. from 1980 to 1981 and an employee from 1970. He has served on the Board of Directors of Natural Resource Partners L.P. from January 2003 to December 2017, the Board of Directors of Greenhill & Co., Inc. from April 2009 to July 2017 and the Board of Directors of Ally Financial (formerly GMAC Inc.) from May 2009 to the present. He is a trustee emeritus of Cornell University. From 2007 to late 2012, he served as a Trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation. He is also a director of the Episcopal Health Foundation and the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. He holds a B.M.E. degree in mechanical engineering and an M.B.A. in business administration from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Blakely should serve as a director of the Company based primarily on his long experience as a corporate executive of public companies, his prior tenure as a senior officer of a company in the chemicals industry, his service as the chief financial officer of several public companies and his broad background in the field of financial accounting.

Albert Chao (age 68). Mr. Chao has been our President since May 1996 and a director since June 2003. Mr. Chao became our Chief Executive Officer in July 2004. Mr. Chao has over 40 years of global experience in the chemical industry. In 1985, Mr. Chao assisted his father, T.T. Chao, and his brother, James Chao, in founding Westlake, where he served as Executive Vice President until he succeeded James Chao as President. He has held positions in the Controller’s Group of Mobil Oil Corporation, in the Technical Department of Hercules Incorporated, in the Plastics Group of Gulf Oil Corporation and has served as Assistant to the Chairman of China General Plastics Group and Deputy Managing Director of a plastics