3M’s New Chairman Aims to Build $50B Company

Inge Thulin, who on Tuesday became chairman of 3M, said he aims to grow 3M to a $50 billion company.

Inge Thulin, who in February took the reins as chief executive of Maplewood-based 3M Company, has now added another chairman.

The transition took place on Tuesday at 3M's annual shareholder meeting, during which the company's board elected Thulin to replace George Buckley, who previously announced plans to retire from the chairman position this month. Thulin in February succeeded Buckley as CEO.

According to a report by the Star Tribune, Buckley offered the following farewell remarks at the shareholder meeting: “I've been so blessed in having the privilege and honor of leading this great company. And that privilege and honor is now being enjoyed by someone else.”

Thulin, meanwhile, shared ambitious goals for the company, saying that he aims to grow 3M to $50 billion in revenue. It reported $29.6 billion in sales last year, making it Minnesota's fifth-largest public company.

Thulin summarized his vision as follows: “3M technology advancing every company. 3M products enhancing every home. 3M products improving every life.”

Thulin reportedly showed a video outlining his vision, which highlighted 3M products used to make everything from solar panels to asthma inhalers, as well as products used to make cars, security identification systems, personal safety items, and consumer household goods.

3M, under Thulin, will focus on “emerging megatrends,” including health care, the oil and gas industries, and sustainable products, the Star Tribune reported. Thulin also expects “significant hiring” and training at the company during the next few years to replace retirees. (Read the full Star Tribune story here.)

In addition, Thulin said that he expects to “be everywhere”-spending about 70 percent of his time on the road in order to maintain connections with U.S. and international customers and employees, according to a report by the Pioneer Press. Thulin, a 33-year employee of 3M, reportedly traveled frequently during his eight-year stint as leader of the company's international operations.

During the annual meeting, shareholders reportedly rejected proposals that would stop the company from using corporate funds for political contributions and require additional disclosure regarding its lobbying efforts.

3M said in a press release that it declared a 59 cents-per-share dividend for its second quarter; it has paid dividends to its shareholders without interruption for more than 95 years.

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