North America Light Metals Chairman Selected

January 9, 2001, 00:00 CET

Hydro Automotive Structures North America president, Frank Ward, has been appointed chairman of the Light Metals North America Management Committee in 2001.

The Committee, made up of several top decision makers within Hydro North America, was conceived in early 2000 to identify and develop management mandates to assist Hydro's North American activities become a more concentrated, cost-effective and profitable entity.

They presented their results to Hydro's Light Metals executive management in Oslo for review last fall and are now implementing the certified mandates.

"We've identified several mandates and synergies in a number of areas," says Ward, who is based at the Hydro Automotive Structures headquarters in Holland, Michigan. "The first is profiling, or in other words, creating a common face for how we present Hydro in North America and how we become known to customers and employees as Norsk Hydro's Light Metals company in North America."

The second mandate focused on optimizing such internal services as procurement, human resources, accounting, and others, "so we could draw synergies from them," he explains. "With all our units in North America, why couldn't we create single synergistic entities?"

The Committee's third mandate involved "taking R&D tentacles in North America and combining them into one synergistic unit." Mandate three has already been accomplished and manifest in the Light Metals Technical Center in Holland.

The fourth mandate involves optimizing product flow and sources so, for example, "we do not end up trying to compete against each other," Ward comments.

Other mandates address such organizational facets as coordination and co-location in North America. All Hydro's units and divisions in North America will continue to report to their present head offices, he emphasizes

Ward expressed the wish to retire as Hydro Automitive Structures North America president at about the time he was called to participate on the Committee last year. A replacement for his fulltime job is imminent and he will spend as much time as needed fulfilling his role as Committee chairman.

Ward also serves as a member of the board of the Aluminum Association, Inc., the premier US trade association for aluminium producers, recyclers and makers of semi-fabricated aluminum products, and on the the board of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC). Ward also serves on a committee coordinating activities between Michigan Technological University, Hydro, and the Technical University of Norway at Trondheim.

Other Light Metals North America Committee 2001 members are Richard J. Boehman, president of Hydro Aluminum Wells; Darryl L. Albright, Ph.D., director of Market Development, The Americas and Pacific Rim; James Walters, president Hydro Aluminium Metal Products North America; Lars Narvestad, vice president Hydro Aluminium Metal Products North America; and Odd Gullberg, president and CEO Norsk Hydro Americas.