Honeywell International named its first president and chief operating officer on Monday, leading some observers to conclude that the industrial conglomerate is preparing to fill the role of its current chairman and CEO.
The Morristown, NJ-based company appointed Darius Adamczyk, an eight-year veteran of the company who was formerly president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies (PMT), to the newly-created position. In his role, Adamczyk will report directly to Honeywell’s current chairman and CEO, Dave Cote.
According to an unnamed source in a recent Wall Street Journal article, Cote, who has lead the company since 2002 and turns 64 years old this year, may retire as soon as next year. The source told the Journal that the Cote promoted one of the company’s top executives to ease the transition as the CEO exits.
“Though not explicit in the announcement, this seems to be a clear indication to us that Mr. Adamczyk is the most likely successor to chairman/CEO Dave Cote,” said Steve Winoker, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., in a Bloomberg article published Monday. “In Mr. Adamczyk, Honeywell is looking at an accomplished, stable leader with a track record of success across a wide range of businesses.”
The heads of all Honeywell businesses, including HOS Gold, will report to Adamczyk, a 50-year-old Polish immigrant who holds advanced degrees from Harvard University and Syracuse University.
"Honeywell's success over the past decade has set the stage for continued growth of our dynamic portfolio," Cote said in a press release. "Our growth strategy focuses on winning in high-growth regions, blending superior software capabilities with our advanced physical technologies to excel as a cyber-industrial company, and effectively using HOS Gold to achieve breakthrough goals with small company speed. Having a proven leader as our COO will enable us to more rapidly achieve these critical growth priorities."
Replacing Adamczyk as president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies is Rajeev Gautam, who has served as president of Honeywell UOP since 2009.