When The Carlyle Group bought DuPont Industrial Coating Solutions earlier this year, it also marked new leadership of the division, which was renamed Axalta Coating Systems. Ron Hull was promoted to North American Sales Manager for powder coatings, responsible for powder and electrocoat sales activities in the U.S. and Canada. He has been with the company for more than 21 years, holding numerous positions in sales, marketing, product development, operations, engineering and Six Sigma. Just prior to his current position, he had been the global business manager for advanced interlayers, DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers. We caught up with Ron as the company gets ready to launch its new branding initiative.
What is the biggest change customers will see with the rebranding to Axalta Coating Systems?
RH: The biggest change our customers will see is better products and services. Our new independence means that everyone in Axalta Coating Systems will be able to focus on our passion—coatings—on a full-time basis. Our independence will release our full potential, and that’s going to convert into even better products and services for our customers.
What does the acquisition by The Carlyle Group mean to your division?
RH: Our Axalta Powder Coating Systems USA is one of the four divisions within Axalta Coating Systems. We will continue to provide, without interruption, every single brand such as Alesta, Nap-Gard and Abcite, and the technology and service we offered before our sale. Initially, the acquisition by The Carlyle Group meant that we have a new name. The rest of our corporate visual identity—a logo and advertising materials—will be rolled out in June.
What will be your focus in the near future?
RH: In the near turn, my focus will be to educate our customers and powder coating community on our new corporate identity while growing our powder business by putting customers first. Our success is tied to our customers’ success.
You have a varied background that includes engineering, operations and even Six Sigma training. How will this help you in your new role?
RH: My experience will help me in my new role in many ways. My Six Sigma experience will help identify and eliminate defects that will benefit our customers. My experience in engineering, operations, supply chain and product management will help me bring the voice of the customer to these functions, and that will enable us to better prioritize and implement new projects.
Where do you see the powder coating industry heading? What will drive the industry?
RH: I see the powder coating industry growing in market size, both organically and by replacing other coating solutions due to the strong environmental and application benefits of powder coatings. Environmental regulations, manufacturing costs and innovation will continue to drive the industry. Also, we should see some manufacturing coming back to the United States that has been exported in the past.
What is the best piece of advice—professional or personal—that you’ve been given, who gave it and what was the occasion?
RH: “Begin with the end in mind,” written by Stephen Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The occasion was at one of DuPont’s trainings.
Get to know Ron:
Family: Wife Rachel and two children
Favorite hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, exercising, traveling and watching U. of Michigan football
Favorite movie: “The Outlaw Josey Wales”
Favorite book: Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen
What’s playing in your car CD/Radio: Florida Georgia Line, Eagles, Israel Houghton