Mark Ketchum, president and chief executive officer of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., is slated to retire later this year.

Newell Rubbermaid, Mark Ketchum, CEO, chief executive officer, retire, Michael Cowhig, consumer products, Rubbermaid

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Newell Rubbermaid CEO to retire

January 12th, 2011

ATLANTA – Mark Ketchum, president and chief executive officer of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., is slated to retire later this year.

The consumer products company said Tuesday that it has retained an executive recruiting firm to conduct an outside search for Ketchum's replacement and to assist with the assessment of internal candidates.

To help ensure a smooth transition to a new chief executive, the 61-year-old Ketchum plans to remain on the company's board through the spring of 2012, Newell Rubbermaid said.

"I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the past five years at Newell Rubbermaid. I love this company and the people I work with, making my decision to retire extremely difficult but consistent with the commitments I made to my family when I joined the company," Ketchum said in a statement.

"As the result of a lot of hard work and effort by everyone in the organization, our portfolio, our gross margin structure and our business model has been significantly transformed," he stated. "We managed through the most difficult economic times in decades and have emerged a leaner, stronger organization focused on the key elements which will drive our continuing improvement."

Ketchum joined Newell Rubbermaid as a director in 2005 and became president and CEO later that year. The company said that under his leadership, it has become a world-renowned portfolio of "Brands that Matter" by focusing on consumer insights and innovation.

"Mark Ketchum's leadership, especially during the difficult economic times and through the many elements of our transformation initiatives, has positioned the company to compete effectively in the extremely dynamic markets in which we participate," commented Michael Cowhig, Newell Rubbermaid's chairman.

"Mark's relentless focus on understanding and serving the needs of our consumers, together with the creation of stronger strategic relationships with our retail and commercial partners, have made Newell Rubbermaid the transformed company it is today — a new Newell Rubbermaid which remains poised for strong growth in the years to come," Cowhig added. "Although our board of directors and associates would have loved Mark to remain our CEO for several more years, we fully respect the commitment he made to his family and appreciate the fact that he has chosen to retire at a time when the company has completed most of its transformation efforts and is positioned for continued success."

Newell Rubbermaid's portfolio of brands includes Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Graco, Calphalon, Irwin, Lenox, Levolor, Paper Mate, Dymo, Waterman, Parker, Goody, Rubbermaid Commercial Products and Aprica.