imageJune 8, 2021

From the CEO: Entering the RPM New Year with New Hope

As I reflect on the start of our new fiscal year, I do so with a renewed sense of hope. The light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel is growing brighter every day—leading us closer to a return to normalcy. Though the past year was not without its challenges, we also saw many successes—due in large part to your hard work, resilience and determination to succeed.

We kick off this new fiscal year with exciting news—RPM has returned to the prestigious Fortune 500 list in 2021, ranking at number 489. When our company last earned a coveted spot in 1994, the list featured only the largest industrial manufacturers—a very proud moment for my father, RPM's former chairman and CEO Thomas C. Sullivan. Soon after, the Fortune 500 expanded to include all public companies in the U.S. I know he would have been ecstatic to learn that RPM has once again achieved the remarkable recognition of being named a Fortune 500 company.

I am also incredibly pleased to share that, as of May 31, we have officially concluded our MAP to Growth operating improvement plan, far exceeding our original $290 million goal of annualized cost savings. Although we achieved our primary objectives—driving greater efficiency to accelerate growth and increasing value from RPM’s unique entrepreneurial culture and leading brands—there’s still more work to be done.

Our next step is to leverage the lessons learned from MAP to Growth to chart a course for 2025. RPM has always been exceptional at growing the top line. Now, thanks to MAP to Growth, we are a much more efficient business as well. This is a powerful combination that has us well-positioned for another decade of growth and success.

Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, our operating companies were not deterred during the past year. Our businesses remained focused on growth and continued to develop new, innovative solutions for our customers. Among them were a self-leveling liquid cementitious screed from Flowcrete UK Carboline’s Pyrocrete 341 cementitious coating for passive fire protection; DAP’s mess-free Eclipse Rapid Wall Repair Patch; and Legend Brands’ innovative new Dri-Eaz® HEPA 2000 air scrubber that is designed to meet the skyrocketing need for high-performance HEPA air filtration.

In addition, we added several new businesses to the RPM family. In September, our Rust-Oleum business acquired Ali Industries, a leading manufacturer of sandpaper and other abrasives, whose well-recognized brands include Gator, Finish 1st and Zip Sander. In March, our Modern Recreational Technologies business acquired Tuff Coat, the world’s #1 rubberized non-skid coating used for aquatic applications, while our Fibergrate business acquired Bison Innovative Products, a leading manufacturer of raised flooring systems. At the start of fiscal 2022, we announced that Dudick Inc.’s high-performance coatings, flooring systems and tank linings are now part of the RPM family of products.

Thanks to your hard work and innovative thinking, we found effective ways to virtually host important companywide meetings, including the Global Leadership Meeting, Growth & Strategy Meeting, Digital Transformation Summit, Legal & Compliance Meeting and others—allowing for vital communication and collaboration to continue.

We also released our first Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Report highlighting our safe, ethical and sustainable business practices. It provides concrete examples and data-driven metrics that demonstrate our track record of taking care of our associates, customers and communities, which is how we create stockholder value and leave a legacy we can all celebrate.

I look back on the past year with immense gratitude for all of our companies and associates. Through all the ups and downs, you have strived to maintain a safe work environment, an extraordinary level of communication and high morale. I am exceedingly grateful for your dedication and commitment during these challenging times.

Looking ahead, we have much to anticipate, from continued growth and efficiency as a result of our MAP to Growth program, to the welcome return of meeting again—with one another and our clients—in person. Here’s to a new year of being together again with family, friends, colleagues and customers.

Thank you for your continued investment of time and talent in RPM. I wish you a happy RPM New Year!

portrait-short-frank sullivan

Frank C. Sullivan
Chairman and CEO

Welcome to RPM's Around the World Blog

This blog shares inspiring stories about how RPM companies are coming together, in light of the COVID-19 health crisis, to help build a better world—and the incredible impact RPM associates are having on their colleagues, families, communities, customers and suppliers around the world.

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