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Woolard Will Succeed Retiring Du Pont Chief

Du Pont Co. directors have elected Edgar S. Woolard Jr. to succeed Richard E. Heckert as chairman and chief executive, effective this spring.

Woolard, 54, who has been president and chief operating officer of the chemical giant since March 1, 1987, will assume his new duties next April.

Heckert will retire after the company’s annual meeting April 26, 1989. Du Pont requires CEOs to retire at age 65. Heckert will be 65 in January.

Du Pont, which has headquarters in Wilmington, Del., also announced that Elwood P. Blanchard Jr., 57, has been elected vice chairman, effective Oct. 1. Blanchard became a director, executive vice president and member of the executive committee Dec. 1.

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Heckert described Woolard as “an exceedingly competent businessman, familiar with all aspects of Du Pont’s operations, as well as a determined and inspiring leader.”

Heckert said Blanchard is “broadly experienced in Du Pont’s businesses, with a strong technical background and a demonstrated ability to handle difficult issues. He is an excellent complement to the new chairman.”

Woolard joined Du Pont in 1957 as an industrial engineer at the Kinston, N.C., plant. He held a succession of manufacturing and marketing positions in the fibers business, eventually serving as general manager and later vice president.

In 1983, he became an executive vice president, director and member of the executive committee with responsibility for what are now Du Pont’s agricultural products, medical products, imaging systems and electronics businesses.

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