PLYMOUTH, Mich.—Matthew Portu has three goals for Freudenberg-NOK, and each of them build off of the company's already strong foundation.
Portu, recently appointed the joint venture's president, wants to continue to cultivate the relationship between Germany-based Freudenberg and Co. and Japan-based NOK Corp.; to continue to grow the Freudenberg-NOK brand; and to push the firm beyond breakthrough ideas.
He succeeds Theodore Duclos, who took a position in Germany as chief technology officer for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies.
“The predecessors that I had in this position did a fantastic job positioning FNST for both current and future success,” Portu said. “I feel that I'm inheriting the keys to a very well-run organization.
“I know our customers, suppliers, products and processes very well,” he added. “I feel prepared for the job, and I also feel quite honored to be leading this company.”
Portu has served as senior vice president, global purchasing, at Freudenberg-NOK since July 2013 and will retain that role as president. Prior to joining the firm, he was the associate director of purchasing at Visteon Corp. from 1999-05. He brings an extensive background in supply chain management, strategic purchasing and supplier quality for large automotive original equipment manufacturers and big Tier 1 suppliers.
He has worked in the automotive industry for 22 years, beginning in Ford Motor Co.'s purchasing department in 1994.
“I know how the buyers and the engineers operate at the OE level,” Portu said. “I know how demanding they can be, but traditionally they're fair too. When we get requests for new technologies, when we get requests for quick turnarounds and when we get pushed for cost reductions, we're prepared for that. It doesn't surprise me because I've been on that side of the table.”