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Dow AgroSciences names new CEO

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Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences LLC will have a new CEO after its parent organization moves Jerome Peribere into a new position, the company announced today.

Antonio Galindez, 54, vice president of Dow AgroSciences' crops business, will step into the top job. Peribere will become CEO of Dow Chemical Co.'s advanced materials business after the retirement of that division's chief.

The transition, which will take place over the next two months, comes as struggling Midland, Mich.-based Dow is mulling purchase offers for its high-performing AgroSciences division. Dow officials have said the sale of the unit would be "counter-strategic," but they have to consider offers if they would be in the best interest of shareholders.

Peribere, 55, a native of France and a 30-year Dow veteran, had been CEO of the AgroSciences unit since 2004. The unit has $4.5 billion in annual sales.

Peribere will relocate to Philadelphia to head up the new division, which was formed earlier this year when Dow Chemical acquired specialty materials company Rohm & Haas Co. for more than $16 billion. He will replace Pierre Brondeau, 51, who is retiring.

Galindez joined Dow in 1983 as field sales representative for agricultural products in Spain. He served in various marketing and business positions throughout Europe, including country manager for Spain and Portugal and human resources director for Europe.

He moved to Indianapolis in 1997 to accept the position of global business leader in the agrochemical business. He was named vice president, Latin America Trade Area, in 2002 and led Dow AgroSciences Corporate Strategy. In September 2002, Galindez became vice president for the Europe, Latin American and the Pacific regions, a position he held until being named global vice president, Crops Business, in 2006.

Last Friday, at IBJ's Life Science Power Breakfast, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Peribere called the DowAgro Sciences division Dow's "best asset."

Dow "doesn't have to sell Dow AgroSciences," he said. "So then it's a question of, is eventually the price going to be so fabulous that you can't refuse that proposal?"

Peribere said he was "doing everything to keep Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis, and I think it's going to work."

Last week, Peribere announced Dow Agro had agreed to a 15-year lease that would spur construction of an 80,000-square-foot research-and-development building, to be erected adjacent to its headquarters in northwest Indianapolis. As a result, the company plans to hire dozens of additional researchers.

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