...The third critical decision that, in my opinion, cost us dearly was the decision to sell our key polymers and fibers businesses, enormous cash generators (as the purchaser Koch Industries is now experiencing), before we had developed the cash generation strength elsewhere.
Perhaps, I am just an old man bemoaning a changing world, but there is no doubt that DuPont and its research organizations will no longer have the power and influence within the broader chemistry community that they once did. I believe this will significantly reduce opportunities for chemistry and chemical engineering professionals, reduce the science and technology capability of our nation, and diminish the world in general.
I had a wonderful career with DuPont and will be forever grateful for the experience of working with many wonderful chemists, engineers, and mentors. Despite my misgivings on the company’s current course, I, with all my heart, wish DowDuPont well and hope for the best for my many friends and associates as the merger proceeds.
West Chester, Pa.
I am a retired industrial analytical chemist. I am old enough to know that “savings and synergies” are code words meaning baloney. Any savings in the Dow Chemical-DuPont merger (C&EN, Dec. 21, 2015, page 7) will come by reduction in older employees in the form of some type of retirement incentives. The executives, from both companies, who retire will get massive golden parachutes. The wise guys who came up with the whole scheme will get massive bonuses to pay for their yachts as they sail off into the sunset laughing all the way.
Frank C. DiLego,
via C&EN’s website http://cenm.ag/dowdupontmerge
As a former Dow Chemical employee, I watched and experienced the lack of understanding of scientific management slowly erode the infrastructure that had built Dow into a wonderful and strong company. Penny-wise, pound-foolish, short-term strategies to bolster stock prices and company margins resulted in poorly equipped laboratories and depleted ranks of scientific staff that didn’t have the critical mass to achieve innovation.
The glorious, storied companies of Dow and DuPont have been plundered mercilessly and will now wither and die, resulting in a trio of companies no better fit to survive in the long run than the current shells. Shame on C&EN for celebrating one of the saddest events in industrial chemical history.
Jeffrey M. Marra,
via C&EN’s website http://cenm.ag/companyof2015
DuPont’s chief science and technology officer, Doug Muzyka, uses meaningless jargon to cover the demise of R&D at his company (C&EN, Jan. 11, page 5). But we need to recognize that the days of corporate research laboratories are over.
When I was in graduate school, most large corporations had substantial R&D labs that did high-quality science, but shuttering DuPont Central Research & Development puts one more nail in the coffin of corporate R&D. Now even the Department of Energy’s national laboratories merely have the patina of science rather than real, in-depth science. What good is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education if there are no decent jobs at the end?
Jeffrey Hylden,I like the cut of Jeffrey Hylden's jib. Best wishes to the current and former employees of Dow, DuPont and DowDuPont, and to all of us.
via C&EN’s website http://cenm.ag/dupontrndchief
P.S. Does anyone know what the fate of Dow/DuPont pensions will be? Are those moneys held separately? What is the health of the pension fund?