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3M Is A “Purpose-Driven” Company, Says CEO Michael Roman

Michael Roman, CEO of 3M3M’s Michael Roman likes to think of the multinational conglomerate as a “purpose-driven” company.
Michael Roman, CEO of 3M
Michael Roman, CEO of 3M

3M’s Michael Roman likes to think of the multinational conglomerate as a “purpose-driven” company. “For 3M, our purpose is characterized really well in our vision, values and science,” says the CEO of the Maplewood, Minn.-based global company.

“Our vision—technology advancing every company, products enhancing every home, innovation improving every life – is central to what we do day-in and day-out,” Roman says. “Our values around inclusion and diversity, along with sustainability – where we’ve been leading for 40 years – also shape a big part of our purpose.”

“And finally, I look to our brand promise—3M Science. Applied to Life— which reflects how we use science to help our customers and to change the world for the better,” he says. “All of this creates a strong sense of purpose for us.”

Roman took the top post last July, replacing Inge Thulin, who now serves in the newly created position of executive chairman of the board. Before becoming CEO, Roman served for one year as chief operating officer and executive vice president, overseeing 3M’s five business groups — Industrial, Health Care, Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, and Consumer, along with its international operations.

In 2014, Roman assumed leadership of 3M’s largest business group, Industrial, which accounts for one-third of 3M’s global sales. Prior to that, he served as chief strategist, where he was instrumental in establishing the company’s future roadmap. Throughout his 30-year career at 3M, Roman has lived and led businesses around the world, including the U.S., Europe and Asia. He joined 3M in 1988 as a senior design engineer, after five years with the Hughes Aircraft Co.

Over the last six years, 3M’s market cap has doubled as the company has been focused on building out and executing its Playbook, which includes portfolio management, investing in innovation and business transformation, Roman says.

“It’s clear that the 3M Playbook is working,” he says. “What’s also clear from my perspective is that we’re just getting started, because there’s a lot more we can and should do to realize our full potential as a company. Going forward we’ll continue to optimize 3M’s portfolio, strengthen our innovation capabilities and accelerate our transformation, while also developing our people and advancing our culture. There’s a lot more value in our Playbook that we can and will capture.”


He’s No. 94 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

Michael Roman, 3M

Headquarters: St. Paul, MN

Age: 58

Education: B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Minnesota and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California.

First joined company: 1988

Prior to joining 3M: Hughes Aircraft

Named CEO: 2018


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