As part of its new strategy to focus on high margin materials, rather than its traditional expertise in low margin commodity plastics, Chemical giant Dow plans to house its plastics business in a new division, “Performance Plastics unit”. The new unit which will serve customers in personal hygiene, food, telecommunications and other highly profitable sectors, will be handled by Howard Ungerleider, Dow's former head of investor relations, who will also oversee sales to packaging and cable customers.
For almost three years, Dow has been trying to sell or spin-off its basic plastics business, which sells low-margin, high-volume commodity plastics. It also planned a joint venture with Kuwait in late 2008 to spin off its basics plastics business into a stand-alone company called KDow. However, the plan was eventually scrapped.