O'Brien to succeed Chellgren as Ashland chairman and CEO

James J. O'Brien, currently serving as senior vice-president and group operating officer of Ashland, has been named president and chief operating officer of the Covington, Ky.-based company.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Aug. 13 -- James J. O'Brien, currently serving as senior vice-president and group operating officer of Ashland Inc., has been named president and chief operating officer of the Covington, Ky.-based company, effective immediately. On Nov. 15, O'Brien also will become chairman and CEO, succeeding Paul Chellgren, who will retire.

O'Brien has 26 years of experience in Ashland's chemical and petroleum marketing operations. During 1992-94, he served as executive assistant to retired Ashland chairman John R. Hall, until O'Brien was named vice-president and general manager of branded marketing for the former Ashland Petroleum Co. He was then named vice-president of Ashland and president of Valvoline. In 1997, O'Brien was named senior vice-president of Ashland.

Chellgren has served as Ashland's CEO since October 1996 and as chairman since January 1997. He has been with the company for 28 years. In 1977, he was named administrative vice-president of Ashland Chemical Co. The next year, he became a vice-president of Ashland Chemical Group. In 1988, he was elected senior vice-president and chief financial officer of Ashland. Chellgren was elected president and chief operating officer in January 1992.

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