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(Archived) Praxair Appoints New Executives in South America and Asia; and Metals Technologies

DANBURY, Conn., August 12, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) today announced a number of new executive appointments in its South American and Asian regional operations as well as in its Metals Technologies group.

Domingos H.G. Bulus, formerly president of Praxair Asia, has been named chief executive officer of the company’s Brazil-based subsidiary, White Martins Gases Industriais Ltda, headquartered in Rio de Janiero. Bulus was also appointed president of Praxair South America and succeeds Ricardo S. Malfitano, whose promotion to senior vice president of Praxair, Inc. was announced in April.

Michael J. Douglas, previously vice president, Praxair Metals Technologies, succeeds Bulus as president of Praxair Asia. Based at Praxair’s Asian headquarters in Shanghai, China, Douglas is responsible for the company’s operations and ventures in China, India, Thailand and South Korea.

Also in Asia, Jay Cheng, formerly managing director of General Electric’s Hydro Asia Equipment Co., has joined Praxair as president of Praxair China, reporting to Douglas. Cheng succeeds Brent Lok, who retired in January this year. Cheng is responsible for Praxair’s industrial gases business in China and Hong Kong. Praxair has 850 employees in China supporting 16 wholly-owned enterprises and joint ventures, three partnerships and several strategic alliances.

Separately, Charles J. Messina, formerly director, CoJet system licensing, has been named vice president, Praxair Metals Technologies, succeeding Michael Douglas. In this role, Messina will oversee the development and marketing of technology for licensing, process control software and technical services to steel, aluminum and other metals customers around the world.

Bulus joined White Martins in Brazil in 1980 and held a number of management positions with White Martins before his appointment to general manager, Columbia, in 1995. He became executive director of the Andean region in 1996 and was named president of Praxair Asia in 2001. Bulus earned a mechanical engineering degree from Gama Filho University, Rio de Janeiro and holds a master’s degree in human resources from Amana Key, Sao Paulo.

Douglas joined Praxair Canada in 1980 as a metals applications engineer and held a number of sales, marketing and business management positions before being appointed director of Praxair Canada in 1996. He was named vice president of Primary Metals in 1999 and vice president of Praxair Metals Technologies in 2000.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in metallurgy from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Cheng was managing director of GE’s Hydro Asia Equipment Co. Prior to that, he held a series of management positions at Eaton Corp. He was based in China from 1994 to 2000, and served as country manager and then managing director of Eaton’s greater China hydraulic operations. A native of Shanghai, Cheng earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics and a master’s degree in biofluid mechanics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He also holds a master's degree in engineering from the University of Minnesota and an master's degree in business administration from St. Thomas University in Minnesota.

Messina joined Praxair in 1983 as manager, argon-oxygen-decarburization technical services, after having spent seven years with U.S. Steel in research and operations. He has also held positions in Praxair in market development, regional sales and steel technology applications. Messina earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in process metallurgy from Lehigh University. Messina is currently president-elect of the Iron & Steel Society in the U.S.

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


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