The Dow Chemical Company was founded in 1897 by Herbert H. Dow with the intent to manufacture and sell bleach. For over 100 years Dow has been at the forefront of technology, with success in research, innovation and manufacturing. For the next 30 years the company expanded into agricultural chemicals, food preservatives and gasoline additives. In 1935 Dow began developing one its most famous commodities: plastics. The 1960s were a benchmark decade for the company: sales exceeded $1B for the first time, a one-shot measles vaccine was introduced, Ziploc bags were invented and the Apollo 8 spacecraft left the earth's atmosphere using Dow plastics as heat shields. By the mid 1980, sales had passed $10B. In 1999, Dow merged with chemical giant Union Carbide. Dow continues to be a leader in plastics, chemicals and hydrocarbons.
Dow's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), William Stavropoulos, entered the position for the second time in December 2002.
He previously held the position of CEO from 1995-2000. Dow Chemical has undergone significant change to its organizational structure in recent years. Mr. Stavropoulos has taken decisive action to improve the company's financial performance. Mr. Stavropoulos is making changes to the corporate structure of the company to better suit his autocratic decision-making style.
One of the key changes has been the reorganization of the levels of leadership at Dow and removed six layers of management between himself and the lowest level of employee.# The decrease in levels of bureaucracy will make his autocratic decision-making style more effective. According to Dr. Moshe BenBassatt, CEO of ClickSoftware, in his writings on decision-making, "the most successful service organizations maintain a high level of continuity between the varying levels of decision-making functions, from strategic to operational."# The success at Dow seems to indicate that this method of removing layers of bureaucracy works...