GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (April 7, 2000)—Environmental Processing Systems Inc., a Garden City-based scrap tire recycling firm, has named Dennis J. Gormley chairman.
Mr. Gormley, former chairman and CEO of Federal-Mogul Corp., made headlines in September 1996 when he resigned from the company after 33 years of service.
Mr. Gormley said he was in discussions with EPS management for over a year before accepting the chairmanship, and joined the company´s board last July. His role at EPS will be advisory. Anthony Cialone, EPS founder and president, and CEO James Randall will retain authority over day-to-day operations.
"When I retired as chairman of Federal-Mogul, I wanted a new challenge, an opportunity where I could create value for others," Mr. Gormley said. "I believe I found that opportunity in EPS."
EPS, founded in 1995, is privately held and has about 100 employees combined at its Garden City headquarters and its Santee River Rubber Co. L.L.C. subsidiary near Charleston, S.C.
EPS has capacity to make 150 million pounds annually of its PolyDyne fine rubber powders at its 90,000-sq.-ft. Santee River plant. Made cryogenically from scrap tires and other elastomers, the powders are environmentally sound, cost-effective substitutes for virgin and synthetic polymers in engineered product applications, according to the company.
Mr. Gormley said EPS will "soon be breaking ground to build another plant in Tennessee." Contacted at his Garden City office, Mr. Randall said the new facility will be built outside Nashville and have the same capacity as the Santee River plant outside Charleston, but the date to begin construction hasn´t been determined yet.
Mr. Randall, in a press release, said Mr. Gormley "brings strategic, management and operational expertise to the board while demonstrating our intent to participate successfully in the global marketplace."
Mr. Gormley also serves on the board of directors of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
In 1989, Mr. Gormley became president and CEO, attaining the chairmanship the following year. At the time, he saw enormous opportunities in redirecting the company´s business from original equipment and aftermarket parts manufacturing to international retailing of aftermarket parts. He established a chain of parts stores, most of them overseas, and sold off manufacturing facilities.
However, by 1996 the company stood to take a full-year loss of $206 million when efforts to consolidate the chain of stores failed. Gormley, then 56, stepped down in favor of Richard Snell, the former CEO of Tenneco Automotive. Mr. Snell promptly sold off most of the parts stores and brought Federal-Mogul back into manufacturing, a direction the company continues to take under his leadership.
At the time, Mr. Gormley said in stories published in Rubber & Plastics News and Automotive News, sister publications of Tire Business, that his ideas were sound and only the execution was flawed. He later said that heart bypass surgery, not Federal-Mogul´s financial losses, prompted his leaving the company.
As for hiring Mr. Snell, "we were looking for someone to fill the No. 2 position at the company, and it´s always easier to find someone to take the No. 1 position. It seemed like an opportune time, and I agreed to step down."
Federal-Mogul´s history, Mr. Gormley added, supported the move into the parts retail business. "Federal-Mogul´s always been in the replacement business," he said.
The contrasts between Federal-Mogul and EPS could scarcely be greater. Southfield, Mich.-based Federal-Mogul, founded in 1899, is a giant in the auto parts industry, with 41,000 employees and $7 billion in annual sales. ©: