Bem will succeed Charles F. Kahle II in the CTO role. Kahle has announced plans to retire effective March 1, 2016. Bem joins PPG from Dow Chemical, where he was vice president, research and development (R&D), consumer solutions and infrastructure solutions. His earlier positions with Dow include global R&D director, core R&D; global R&D director, Dow Automotive Systems; and R&D director, hydrocarbons energy, chemicals and alternative feedstock. Prior to working at Dow, Bem held R&D leadership roles at Celanese Corp. and UOP LLC (a Honeywell company formerly known as Universal Oil Products).
“David’s results-driven experience in leading global R&D organizations and his strong track record of launching innovative products across various technology platforms and business units will be invaluable assets to PPG,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG president and CEO.
Kahle, current CTO and vice president, coatings R&D, joined PPG in 1987 as a research chemist. He progressed through several research assignments before being appointed associate director, R&D, for silica products in 1998. He was named associate director, R&D, for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass in 2002, and then promoted to director of research for coatings and resins in 2004. In 2007, Kahle was named vice president, coatings R&D, and in 2008 he assumed the additional role of chief technology officer.