3M’s Buckley Knighted by Queen of England

British Consul General Robert Chatterton Dickson called 3M's CEO "a leader in the American and Midwestern business community for decades."

George Buckley already has three titles at 3M Company alone-chairman of the board, president, and CEO.

But on Friday, he was knighted by the Queen of England and can now add “sir” to his list of titles, which also includes director positions at several companies.

British Consul General Robert Chatterton Dickson called Buckley “a leader in the American and Midwestern business community for decades,” saying in a statement that “throughout his career he has maintained close ties to the UK and a commitment to educating future generations. . .”

Dickson added that “Sir George represents excellence in business and learning.”

Buckley took the helm at Maplewood-based 3M in 2005. He is only the second CEO in 3M's history to be recruited from outside the company.

“I am so humbled to hear that I would be honored in this way and never imagined such a thing could ever happen to me,” Buckley said in a statement after receiving his new title. “I am immensely grateful to all the wonderful teachers, colleagues, and friends who helped me so much in my life and made it what it ultimately became.”

Buckley's contract with 3M expires in February 2012 when he'll turn 65-the company's mandatory retirement age for top executives. In December, he told Bloomberg that he planned to stay with 3M “as long as the board lets me.”

Last month, 3M promoted Inge G. Thulin, who had served as vice president of international operations since 2003, to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO)-a move that was widely believed to indicate that he's in line to succeed Buckley. A 3M spokeswoman said at the time that the board is considering “a wide range of candidates” and “the COO is among those.”

3M is Minnesota's fifth-largest public company based on its 2009 revenue, which totaled $23.1 billion. The company reported revenues of $26.7 billion in 2010.