Covestro names Samir Hifri as new chairman and president of its U.S. operations

US – German producer of polyurethane and polycarbonate-based raw materials, Covestro has appointed Samir Hifri as the new chairman and president of Covestro LLC, its U.S. operations, effective July 1.

Hifri will lead the US operations of the global company, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, succeeding Haakan Jonsson, who will retire after 30-plus years of service with Covestro.

“I’m both humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead and work alongside the talented U.S. team, as we continue to advance the company’s vision of becoming fully circular,” Hifri said in a news release.

“In some ways, I feel as though my own career has come full circle, as this next chapter brings me back to Pittsburgh, where my Covestro journey first began.”

Hifri joined Covestro in 1998 as a commercial trainee at the firm’s U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh.

Since then, he’s led a diverse career spanning product management, sales and marketing, supply chain and country management. He has worked at 10 Covestro sites across six countries and three continents.

Currently, Hifri serves a dual role as senior vice president and managing director of Covestro Hong Kong, as well as head of the supply chain and logistics center for the Asia Pacific region.

Samir holds an executive degree from the prestigious INSEAD business school in France. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Hifri remains active in a number of community and academic functions, said the news release.

Commenting on the appointment, Thomas Toepfer, Covestro’s chief financial officer and board member said: “With his passion for people, deep knowledge of Covestro’s global business and strong ties to America, Samir is well suited to lead the U.S. organization into the future.

“On behalf of the Board of Management, I want to extend my congratulations to Samir and also to recognize Haakan for his many contributions to Covestro.”

Meanwhile, Jonsson joined Covestro as a scientist in 1992, and has amassed more than 20 patents and held leadership roles in innovation, supply chain, and production operations.

He assumed his current role in January 2020, quickly having to shift gears from the normal course of business to safely sustaining US operations in the face of a global pandemic.

During his tenure, he also oversaw the US integration of the resins and functional materials business acquired from DSM and the launch of the Covestro Circular Economy Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

“I’ve been fortunate to have led a long, fulfilling career with Covestro, which culminated in the ultimate privilege of leading the first-class team here in the US,” said Jonsson.

“As my own Covestro journey comes to a close, I am confident that the US organization will continue to grow and thrive under Samir’s capable leadership.”

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