Company: Alcan Packaging, Inc. Chicago, IL
Entry Submitted By: Shonne Fegan-Ehrhardt, APR
Company Description: Alcan Packaging, Inc., with headquarters in Chicago, IL USA and Paris, France is a $6.2 billion company with 30,000 global employees in 130 different plants in 31 countries. Ilene S. Gordon has been Senior Vice President, Alcan Inc., and President and CEO, Alcan Packaging, since December 2006.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive – Non-Services Businesses – More Than 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Ilene Gordon, President and CEO Alcan Packaging, Inc.
1. Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):
As president and CEO of Alcan Packaging, one of the world’s largest packaging
businesses, Ilene Gordon has the formidable challenge of leading her company to
win in a highly competitive marketplace in the midst of a protracted, 18-month
Shortly after Gordon was named CEO in December, 2006, the sale of Alcan
Packaging was launched by its parent company, Rio Tinto Alcan. In addition, in
the past year, Gordon has been managing the 30,000 global employees through
murky waters as two of Alcan Packaging’s parent companies (formerly Alcan Inc.
and current owner Rio Tinto) have had unsolicited bids made upon them, by Alcoa
and most recently, BHP Billiton respectively.
The ability to manage change and uncertainty is an elusive but important executive
skill and is Gordon’s forte. Under her direction as the only female CEO of a global
packaging company, she has demonstrated a sound strategy for managing
through uncertainty, given the slowing economy, nominal industry growth and the
sharply rising materials costs that have beset flexible packaging converters for
several years. She understands that growth, morale and profitability are keys to
satisfying both current and potential owners of the business.
Under Gordon’s leadership, Alcan Packaging’s sales have grown from US$6 billion
in 2006 to US$6.3 billion in 2007. Additionally, under Gordon's management
(which began Q4 2006) Alcan Packaging's business group profit performance
improved an average of $24 million per quarter through the last publicly reported
quarter. The company continues to grow its presence in emerging countries, with
38 sites totaling 18 percent of sales versus four sites totaling five percent of
in 2003. Gordon has spearheaded an aggressive development strategy which has
added over $800 million in sales through new facilities and acquisitions in
developing markets such as India, Russia and the Czech Republic while improving
performance in core markets.
In 2008, Gordon boldly created a new, unique organization which emphasizes
growth through new products in the areas of innovation and sustainability. She has
introduced a new recognition program to focus all 30,000 employees on serving
customers through pioneering thinking. She has increased training and
development and has made Alcan Packaging substantially safer by cutting
workplace injuries in half.
This MIT-educated former consultant is a leader in a growing cadre of Americans
running global businesses. Her style is described as the quintessential, American-
style of management, leaving nothing to chance and willing to take risks. Yet she
is a multicultural leader, managing people all over the globe. With plants in 31
countries, she is constantly on-the-move, operating out of offices in Paris and
Gordon is director and chairman of the Governance Committee for Arthur J.
Gallagher & Company, and director and chairman of the Human Resources
Committee for United Stationers. She has served on the Board of the North
American Flexible Packaging Association for seven years, both as a Director and
as its Executive Vice-Chair. She was also named to Fortune Magazine’s Global
Power 50 in 2007.
2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
3. Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 100 words):
Ilene S. Gordon
Ilene S. Gordon is Senior Vice President, Alcan Inc., and President and CEO,
Alcan Packaging, a $6.2 billion company. She oversees 30,000 global employees
in 130 different plants in 31 countries. Previous roles include President, Alcan
Food Packaging Americas and President of Pechiney Plastic Packaging, Inc.
Gordon also spent 17 years in executive roles at the Packaging Corporation of
America, Signode, and the Boston Consulting Group.
Ms. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa,
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Master of Science degree in
management from MIT's Sloan School of Management.