DANBURY, Conn., April 18, 2003 — Dennis H. Reilley, chairman and chief executive officer of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), announced today a new alignment of senior management responsibilities, effective May 1, 2003.
The realignment follows the announcement of the planned retirement of Paul J. Bilek, 56, executive vice president, who has served in a wide range of management and executive positions with the company for 35 years.
“Paul Bilek has played a significant role in making Praxair into the successful organization it is today,” Reilley said. “His knowledge and professional skills are admired throughout the industrial gases industry and his insights and counsel will be greatly missed.”
Stephen F. Angel, 47, executive vice president, has been assigned an expanded role and will be responsible for North American Industrial Gases, Praxair Distribution, Healthcare Services, Praxair Metals Technologies, HYCO and Gasification, Applications Market Development, as well as regional operations in Europe and Asia.
“Since joining Praxair two years ago, Steve has quickly demonstrated his ability to manage a broad array of business activities, including service-oriented operations,” Reilley said. “He has also led Praxair’s successful drive to implement Six Sigma programs across the company.” Prior to joining Praxair, Angel was general manager of General Electric’s Power Equipment business.
Ricardo S. Malfitano, 44, currently president of Praxair South America, has been appointed a senior vice president of Praxair, Inc. and will be based in Danbury, Conn. Malfitano will be responsible for Praxair Electronics, Global Supply Systems, Procurement and Materials Management as well as Safety and Production Excellence. He will also oversee regional operations in South America and Mexico.
“During his 25 years with Praxair, Ricardo has gained broad experience in all the company’s industrial gases operations ranging from the healthcare and semiconductor sectors to marketing and technical development in both North and South America,” Reilley stated. Malfitano will continue to manage Praxair’s South America activities until a replacement is named.
Separately, Reilley announced that James S. Sawyer, 46, currently vice president and chief financial officer, has been appointed senior vice president and CFO. His responsibilities are unchanged.
Reilley also said that Thomas W. von Krannichfeldt, 53, will become vice president of Praxair, Inc. and president of Praxair Surface Technologies, with responsibility for aviation services and global coatings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.