SANDUSKY, Ohio—Hexpol A.B. has appointed Ken Bloom president of Hexpol Compounding Americas.
He succeeds Tracy Garrison, who previously had disclosed his intentions to leave the company at the end of 2019 to become CEO of Geon Performance Solutions.
Bloom, who served as CEO and president for Preferred Compounding since 2006, helped the company grow to be the No. 2 customer rubber compounder in North America, behind Hexpol. The firm reported 2018 sales of about $240 million with 540 employees and six factories—five in the U.S. and one in Mexico.
Hexpol acquired Preferred in July for $232 million. At the time of the deal, Hexpol said Bloom would not be staying with the operation and congratulated him on his development of a "well-run organization."
Preferred was acquired by private equity firm Audax Group in 2016 and expanded significantly under its ownership and Bloom's leadership. The firm made several strategic acquisitions—most notably Trostel Ltd. in 2016 and Valley Rubber Mixing in January 2019. It also invested internally with a facility adjacent to its mixing plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico; boosted capacity at its factory in Huntington, Tenn.; and leased a new headquarters in Copley, Ohio, freeing up space at its Barberton, Ohio, compounding plant.
"We are very happy to welcome Ken Bloom to Hexpol. ... (H)e has, since 2006, successfully developed Preferred Compounding, and with a customer centric approach, significantly grown the company both organically and through acquisitions," Mikael Fryklund, Hexpol CEO and president, said in a statement. "With Ken's extensive experience from the rubber compounding industry and strong track record, I am confident that Ken will continue to develop Hexpol Compounding Americas in a successful way."