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When Tim King left the CEO's office after a quick meeting in early 2007, he wasn't sure what to think. It certainly wasn't the first time King had met with Andrew Liveris, the well-known CEO of Dow Chemical in Midland, Mich., where King had been working for more than three decades. But it was the first time he was told that he would soon be offered a new position within Dow and that "he should take it."
Less than two months after that meeting, King was the vice president of global purchasing at one of the largest chemical companies in the world, having received the formal offer from David Kepler, CIO, senior vice president and head of Dow's shared services organization, as Liveris predicted. But it wasn't King's procurement experience that won him the post--in fact, he had very little. It was the confidence his CEO and CIO had in him based on their past dealings with him.
While King's tale certainly describes a very different path to the C-suite than most procurement professionals will tell, the fact is that more procurement executives are gaining access to those carpeted office areas in their companies for a variety of reasons--not the least being the C-level's improved understanding of procurement's value.
Source: Purchasing, http://www.purchasing.com
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