3M Promotes Michael Roman to COO
Photo by 3M

3M Promotes Michael Roman to COO

The move puts him one step closer to the CEO role. Current 3M CEO Inge Thulin praised Roman for his work leading the company’s largest business group, industrial, which takes in $10 billion annually.

Effective July 1, 3M Co. is promoting Michael Roman to chief operating officer, essentially placing him a step away from, as some analysts have suggested, becoming the company’s next CEO.
Inge Thulin, the current chief executive of the Maplewood-based industrial supplies manufacturer, took the same path up the ladder—becoming COO in 2011 and CEO in 2012.
A 3M spokesperson told the Star Tribune via e-mail that “no decisions had been made” regarding Thulin’s succession plan.
Instead, the company’s board of directors waived a rule for Thulin that would have required he retire at the age of 65, or in two years.
Roman was previously the executive vice president of 3M’s industrial sector, by far the largest of the company’s five business groups. In 2016, sales of industrial products made up over one-third (or approximately $10.3 billion) of 3M’s annual revenue.
Before that, Roman was senior vice president of strategy and business development at 3M. In a release, the company called his work at the time “instrumental in establishing 3M’s future strategic roadmap.”
In recent years, 3M has made a number of organization changes. Among them: divesting itself of “non-core” business groups (shrinking its portfolio from 40 business units in 2012 to around 20 now) and diverting more money toward research and development efforts.
In his new role, Roman’s responsibilities will grow to oversee all business groups at 3M, as well as the company’s international operations.
Moreover, Hak Cheol “H.C.” Shin, the company’s executive vice president of international operations since 2011, is being promoted to vice chair and executive vice president.
Starting next month, Shin will lead a number of 3M’s departments, including teams responsible for research and development, strategy and business development, supply chain operations, information technology and business transformation.
“Mike and H.C. are both highly effective, accomplished leaders with proven track records of delivering strong results, building businesses and development future leaders,” Thulin said in a statement. “I have the utmost confidence in our ability to continue building strength on strength and making 3M an even more competitive enterprise.”