Bill Wood joined Solvay with the 2015 acquisition of Cytec. Bill, a US citizen, has over 30 years’ experience in the advanced materials industry, and is currently President of the Composite Materials GBU.
He began his career with Fiberite, and joined Cytec in 1997 with the acquisition of Fiberite’s composites business. Prior to joining Solvay, Bill spent seven years as President of the Aerospace Materials Business Unit, and was a member of Cytec’s Executive Leadership Team. Bill has held several general management positions with a focus on developing the global composites business. He had an expat assignment in Europe and has spent a significant amount of time in the Asia Pacific region, and now resides in Arizona.
You have held positions in engineering, manufacturing, plant management, commercial and general management prior to your current role. How has this range of experience been beneficial to you?
Working in many different locations, businesses and cultures, and being faced with a variety of leadership and business challenges, has helped me develop a fairly broad stakeholder (customer, company, employee, investor, etc.) knowledge and understanding, which is critical to success in a large, global, general business management role.
I believe having a broad understanding of differing stakeholder needs puts a leader in a position to effectively self-empower—to assess and act quickly and in alignment with company needs.
Which aspects of people management do you enjoy the most?
One of the nice things about getting “further along in your career” is that you can take more opportunities to observe and appreciate the unique capabilities and stand-out performances from people and teams around you. When I see the intellect, the creativity and the intensity put forward and the results that follow, I often find myself saying ‘Wow!’ I feel a great sense of honor in having the opportunity to work with these passionate individuals.
What has been one of your most memorable experiences or achievements in your career?
Doing business globally and working within many different cultures. Specifically, the opportunity I had to work with a very talented team to grow our composites business in the Asia Pacific region, culminating in the construction and successful operation of our world-class manufacturing plant in Fengxian, China.
What has been the most exciting thing that has taken place within your scope of activity over the past year?
As you might expect… it doesn’t get much more exciting than being a part of the series of events that predated and then concluded with Solvay’s successful acquisition of Cytec, and the important and impressive integration work that has followed.