DuPont loses ag division CEO to Ill. company

DuPont Co. has said biotechnology is its future, but it will be a future without the executive who has run one of its fastest-growing divisions.

J. Erik Fyrwald, 48, is joining the publicly held Nalco Holding Co. after more than four years of running DuPont’s $6.8 billion Agriculture & Nutrition division. That operation has 12,000 employees and includes its biotechnology seed and crop protection chemicals businesses.

Nalco, which provides water-treatment services, has a similar number of employees more than 11,500.

The Naperville, Ill. company didn’t release all of the terms of Fyrwald’s employment agreement, but did say that it will grant him about 200,000 shares of restricted stock and an option to buy 150,000 shares of common stock.

DuPont wasn’t exactly caught off-guard by the move. The Wilmington chemical giant said that executive vice president Thomas M. Connelly would now run DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition. He also is in charge of integrating biotechnology throughout DuPont’s various businesses.

Six other executives were reassigned as part of what DuPont CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr. said was an effort “to accelerate commercialization of its bio-based technologies to meet growing global demand.”

Organic growth

Tengion Inc., an East Norriton company developing regenerated human organs, continues to attract talent. Yesterday, it named Jeff Randall to its board of directors.

Randall has been a chief financial officer at seven different companies, including three which later named him CEO. He was part of the management team of Eximias Pharmaceutical Corp. , a Berwyn company bought by Toronto-based YM BioSciences Inc. in 2006.

Tengion, which is conducting mid-stage clinical trials of replacement human bladders, is one of the region’s most promising life-sciences firms. It has raised more than $120 million in venture capital since its founding in 2003.