LyondellBasell Names Peter Vanacker as CEO

16.12.2021 - Peter Vanacker, currently president and CEO of Finnish refiner Neste, has been tapped to be the new CEO of LyondellBasell (LYB) starting at the latest in June 2022. He will succeed Bhavesh (Bob) Patel, who is leaving the company at the end of 2021 to become chief executive of W. R. Grace from January 2022. Vanacker will also sit on LYB’s board.

In the gap between Patel’s departure and Vanacker’s arrival, Kenneth Lane, executive vice president, global olefins and polyolefins for LyondellBasell, will serve as the Dutch-based, Texas-managed group’s interim CEO, while continuing to serve in his current role. Prior to joining LYB in 2019, Lane held a variety of positions with BASF, including president of the monomers division and president of BASF Catalysts. He previously filled a number of roles at BP Chemicals.

The 55-year-old Vanacker, who has both Belgian and German citizenship, carries a lengthy resumé of former leadership positions at globally oriented chemicals and plastics producers dating back 30 years. Prior to the three-year stint at Neste, the company currently carrying the renewables banner across Europe, the future chief executive in Houston was CEO and managing director of fine chemicals producer CABB, a spinoff of Clariant, and CEO and managing director of biaxially oriented polypropylene filmproducer Treofan.

During his tenure at Bayer, Vanacker also held a succession of roles, including steering the global polyurethanes business as a member of the executive committee of Bayer Material Science, now Covestro. He also worked with various Bayer group companies in Belgium, Brazil, Germany and the US. He currently chairs the advisory board of the European Institute for Industrial Leadership and is a member of the supervisory board of flavors and fragrances producer Symrise.

Jacques Aigrain, chairman of LyondellBasell’s board of directors, said the multilingual executive’s “outstanding leadership and industry experience made him the Board's choice in an exceptional field of candidates who were considered as part of the comprehensive search process."

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist