Newell Brands CEO to retire, stock gains

Newell Brands Inc. Chief Executive Michael Polk will retire from the company at the end of the second quarter, the company announced Thursday afternoon. Newell said it has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help in finding the next CEO. “I am proud of the progress we have made since 2011 transforming the portfolio and building a set of competitively advantaged capabilities in innovation, design and eCommerce,” Polk said in a statement. The Rubbermaid parent company has struggled for the type of growth it expected after the $15 billion acquisition of Jarden three years ago, and has recently been selling off businesses while attracting attention from activist investors like Carl Icahn and Starboard Value LP. The stock is down 45.7% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 index has gained 2.2%. Shares gained about 1.2% in after-hours trading following the announcement Thursday afternoon.

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