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Fred E. Festa
Chief Executive Officer
W. R. Grace & Co.
Fred Festa is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of W. R. Grace & Co. A seasoned executive with
leadership experiences at Fortune 100 companies as well as start-up/venture businesses, Fred is the
8th chief executive to lead the company in more than 158 years of Grace history.
Fred joined Grace as President and Chief Operating Officer in November 2003, assumed the CEO
responsibilities in June 2005 and was named Chairman of the Board in January 2008. He was President
from November 2003 to November 2011.
Fred has championed the transformation of Grace into a fully-integrated operating company. Under
his leadership, the company’s revenue grew 60%, from $2 billion in 2003 to $3.2 billion in 2011 [6.1% CAGR].
Despite operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a challenging global economic environment,
Grace has completed dozens of strategic acquisitions, joint ventures and business partnerships that have
enhanced its standing as a premier global specialty chemicals and materials company.
A strong believer in Lean, Six Sigma and continuous improvement, Fred has spearheaded intensified
productivity efforts at Grace that delivered cost savings and revenue enhancements of $155 million in
2011. He created the Grace Research Council to oversee greater R&D collaboration, generating an active
innovation pipeline. Products introduced in the past five years delivered around one third of Grace’s
annual revenues in 2011.
Fred came to Grace from Morgenthaler Private Equity Partners, an $850 million venture/buyout firm
focused on mid-market industrial build ups, where he had been a partner since November 2002.
From 2000 to 2002, Fred was President and CEO of ICG Commerce, a 450-person, privately held company
offering online procurement services.
His strong knowledge of manufacturing was established during a seven-year tenure, from 1993 to 2000, at
AlliedSignal, Inc. (now Honeywell). He worked at the company’s specialty chemical, polymer, chemical
intermediaries and fibers businesses in a series of increasingly responsible positions in general management,
business development and finance. Most recently, he served as Vice President and General Manager of
AlliedSignal’s performance fibers business, from 1998 to 2000.
Fred began his career at General Electric (GE), where he spent 12 years in financial management
positions at five of the company’s business units. While there, he completed GE’s Financial Management
Training Program and its benchmark General Management Course.
Fred graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from SUNY
(State University of New York) Oswego. He became an independent director of NVR, one of the largest home
builders in the United States, in 2008.
Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts; engineered and packaging materials; and, specialty
construction chemicals and building materials. The company’s three industry-leading business segments-Grace
Catalysts Technologies, Grace Materials Technologies and Grace Construction Products-provide innovative
products, technologies and services that enhance the quality of life. Grace employs approximately 6,000
people in over 40 countries and had 2011 net sales of $3.2 billion. More information about Grace is
available at www.grace.com.
W. R. Grace & Co.
7500 Grace Drive
Columbia, MD 21044, USA