Recently Coatings World had the opportunity to meet with McGarry at the company’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa. McGarry stressed that the focus of the company is not changing. “PPG’s business is now about 94 percent coatings. We have been purposeful in moving towards coatings. We value service and innovation," he said.
PPG to Focus on Organic and Inorganic Growth
“Coatings is our core space,” McGarry added. “The transition from Chuck Bunch to myself is a continuation. PPG needs to grow both organically and inorganically. During the past 15 years, we have made 65 acquisitions. We need to step up our game in organic growth.”
PPG’s core segments include architectural, automotive, aerospace and packaging coatings. “These spaces have been consolidated through acquisitions,” McGarry said. The company recently acquired Cumming Microwave, a global supplier of specialty coatings and materials that absorb microwaves and radio waves, such as radar and Revocoat, a global supplier of sealants, adhesives and damper products for the automotive industry. McGarry referred to these acquisitions as “nibbling around the edges.”
“There are still more consolidations that will take place in the automotive refinish and architectural markets,” he added.
McGarry also stressed the need for PPG to continue to innovate and offer evolving coating systems to improve effectiveness.
“The future is bright and the best days are ahead of us,” McGarry predicted. “PPG will continue to drive consolidation and continue to be the most innovative coatings company in the world. Our focus will be on providing coatings around the world. Everywhere you travel and see a coated surface, we should be there.”
McGarry explained that there is plenty of room for PPG to grow. “The top ten coatings guys still only have 50 percent of the market,” he explained. “There is plenty of room to grow.”
Growth will be driven by emerging regions and the push for water-based technologies. “These regions include China, India and Eastern Europe, and Africa ten years down the road,” he said. “We have to sell value. We currently sell in 140 countries – that leaves a lot of space to grow.”
During his 34 years with PPG, McGarry has served in a variety of key business and functional leadership roles in the United States, Europe and Asia. In recent years, he helped lead several strategic actions that have transformed PPG’s business portfolio, most notably the acquisition of SigmaKalon; the separation of PPG’s former commodity chemicals business; the acquisition and integration of AkzoNobel’s North American architectural coatings business; and, most recently, the acquisition of Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V.