headshot of Rakesh Sachdev

Rakesh Sachdev

Board Chair

Mr. Sachdev has served as an independent director of Axalta since August 2020 and has served as Axalta's Board Chair since January 2023. He also served as Axalta's interim CEO from August 2022 through December 2022. Mr. Sachdev is currently Chairman of the Board of Regal Rexnord Corporation and serves as a board member of Edgewell Personal Care Company and Herc Holdings. He is also a senior advisor at New Mountain Capital. Mr. Sachdev has deep experience in the chemical, industrial and life sciences industries and brings significant global expertise in strategy, finance, operations and M&A. He most recently served as CEO of Platform Specialty Products Corporation, a leading global specialty chemicals company, from 2016 to 2019. Prior to that, he led Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a leading S&P 500 global life sciences and technology company, as its President and CEO from 2010 until 2015, when it was acquired by Merck KGaA. Mr. Sachdev previously held executive positions at Meritor, Inc., a global supplier of automotive systems and components, and Cummins Inc., a global engine and power systems manufacturer. Mr. Sachdev received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his M.B.A. from Indiana University.

headshot of Jan Bertsch

Jan Bertsch

Ms. Bertsch has served as an independent director of Axalta since September 2022. She currently serves as the independent chair of the board of directors for BWX Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing and engineering innovator that provides safe and effective nuclear solutions for global security, clean energy, environmental remediation, nuclear medicine and space exploration, where she previously served as chair of the audit and finance committee and a member of the compensation committee. Ms. Bertsch also serves on the board of directors of Regal Rexnord Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial and powertrain solutions, and is a member of its audit and compensation and human resources committees. She previously served on the board of directors of Meritor, Inc., a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking, aftermarket and electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets., where she was also chair of the audit committee, until the acquisition of Meritor by Cummins Inc. in August 2022.

Prior to her retirement in 2019, Ms. Bertsch was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Owens-Illinois, Inc. (now O-I Glass), a manufacturer of container glass and packaging products, from 2015-2019, where she was responsible for the global finance and IT functions. Immediately prior to this role, Ms. Bertsch served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a life science and technology company, from 2012-2015. Prior to joining Sigma-Aldrich, Ms. Bertsch served in a variety of finance and IT leadership roles of increasing responsibility at BorgWarner, Chrysler, Visteon Corp. and Ford Motor Company.

Ms. Bertsch has served as a member of the Cisco Board of Advisors, Microsoft Advisory Board and CIO Executive Board. Ms. Bertsch was named to the Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Automotive Industry by Automotive News twice in her career.

Ms. Bertsch holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Wayne State University and a Master of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

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William Cook

Mr. Cook has served as an independent director of Axalta since May 2019 and served as Axalta's Board Chair from August 2021 through December 2022. He served as the Executive Chairman of the Board for Donaldson Company, Inc. from 2015 to 2016 until his retirement; served as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer from 2005 to 2015; and was the President and Chief Executive Officer from 2004 to 2005. Throughout his 35-year career at Donaldson, a technology-driven global company that designs and manufactures innovative filtration systems and their replacement parts, Mr. Cook served in numerous senior executive positions in both the U.S. and Europe, including as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, International. Mr. Cook has been a Director of Mativ Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as Neenah, Inc.), a specialty materials company, since 2016 and is currently a member of the Audit Committee. He previously served as the non-Executive Chairman of Mativ Holdings, Inc. until 2022. Previously, Mr. Cook served on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of Valspar Corporation from 2010-2017 and on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of IDEX Corporation from 2008-2022. Mr. Cook holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

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Tyrone Michael Jordan

Mr. Jordan currently serves on the boards of directors of Oshkosh Corporation, TPI Composites, Inc. and Trinity Industries, Inc., where he is a member of the Audit, Nom & Gov, Human Resources (compensation), and Technology committees. Mr. Jordan also served on the board of directors of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company from January 2021 until Cooper’s acquisition by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in June 2021. In 2019, he retired as the President & Chief Operating Officer of DURA Automotive Systems, a tier-one supplier of mechatronic control systems for hybrid/electric vehicle systems, Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), and luxury trim systems for premier automotive brands, where he was responsible for strategic growth, innovation & technology and six sigma operational initiatives across the global enterprise, including operations in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Under his leadership, DURA instituted new electric vehicle/hybrid intelligent technologies and an operational excellence transformation strategy to ensure the efficiency and flexibility needed to thrive during the next technological period of mobility evolution. Mr. Jordan joined DURA in 2015, following an accomplished 30-year career which included executive roles at General Motors Corporation (GM) and United Technologies Corporation (UTC). While at GM, which included assignments living internationally in Brazil, China and Mexico, Mr. Jordan held a variety of leadership positions in operations, business development, engineering, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and new innovation & technology product development, ultimately serving as GM’s Executive Vice President, Global Operations and Customer Experience. Mr. Jordan also served UTC in prominent roles that included Global Senior Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain, Aerospace Systems. He received his Executive Aerospace & Defense Master of Business Administration (ADMBA) in Operations, Strategy & Finance with Highest Distinction from the Haslam Business School at the University of Tennessee, a B.S. in Pre-law from Eastern Michigan University, and a BASc in Industrial Engineering Technology from Purdue University. Mr. Jordan also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Business of Eastern Michigan University and as a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is the founder of various endowment and scholarship programs at Eastern Michigan University in support of honor students who overcome major obstacles in their lives.

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Deborah Kissire

Ms. Kissire currently serves on the boards of directors and audit committees for Cable One, Inc., a leading American cable and broadband service provider, Omnicom Group, Inc., a global marketing and corporate communications holding company based in the U.S., and Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company. In 2015, she retired as Vice Chair and Regional Managing Partner from Ernst & Young, L.L.P. (EY), where she also served as a member of their Americas Executive Board and Global Practice Group. Ms. Kissire has more than 30 years of experience in the financial sector, and has served in various leadership positions at EY, including Vice Chair and Regional Managing Partner for the East Central and Mid-Atlantic Regions and U.S. Vice Chair of Sales and Business Development. At EY Ms. Kissire worked with global companies across multiple sectors including consumer products, retail, industrial, technology, aerospace and defense, and power and utilities. In addition to serving on EY’s Americas Executive Board, she has extensive experience serving on or leading executive level committees, where she provided exceptional insight into strategic planning, governance, global branding, and gender inclusiveness, as well as service on numerous civic boards. Ms. Kissire earned her BBA, Accounting, from Texas State University where she currently serves on the McCoy College of Business Advisory Board.

headshot of Samuel Smolik

Samuel Smolik

In 2017, Mr. Smolik retired as the Senior Vice President – Americas Manufacturing at LyondellBasell Industries, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies. Prior to that assignment, Mr. Smolik was Vice President – Global Health, Safety, Environment and Operational Excellence at the company. From 2005 through 2009, he was Vice President – Global Downstream Health, Safety, Security and Environment at Royal Dutch Shell. Between 1975 and 2004, Mr. Smolik held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at The Dow Chemical Company before attaining his final position as Vice President, Global Environment, Health, Safety and Security. Mr. Smolik has been active with the American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association and the American Chemistry Council. He serves on the Board of Evergreen Industrial Services, a leading provider of environmental and industrial cleaning solutions. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Ducks Unlimited Inc., the leading wetlands conservation organization in North America. He serves on the University of Texas at Austin Engineering Advisory Board, is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Antwerp International School Foundation and is an active member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. Smolik received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

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Kevin Stein

Dr. Stein has served as an independent director at Axalta since September 2023. He is President and CEO of TransDigm Group Incorporated, where he also serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Stein joined TransDigm in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer of the Power and Controls Segment. He then became the company's Chief Operating Officer and President in January of 2017, before being promoted to CEO in April of 2018. TransDigm is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Prior to joining TransDigm, Dr. Stein worked for Precision Castparts Corporation, now a division of Berkshire Hathaway, in a variety of senior leadership roles. Previously, Dr. Stein served as a division president for Cooper Industries and Tyco Electronics/Raychem Corporation. Among other philanthropic endeavors, he serves as a Trustee for the Cleveland Institute of Music, an independent conservatory of Music in Cleveland, Ohio, and as a Trustee for Gilmour Academy, an independent, co-educational school in the Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills, Ohio. Dr. Stein earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hobart College and his master’s and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Stanford University.

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Chris Villavarayan

Chief Executive Officer and President

Mr. Villavarayan has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Axalta since January 2023. He is also a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Villavarayan held many positions of increasing responsibility over the course of his 22 years at Meritor and has extensive international experience as well as experience executing and integrating accretive acquisitions and leading teams to drive transformational change that created significant shareholder value. Most recently, he served as CEO and President and as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to this, he served as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing Meritor’s global operations for its Global Truck and Aftermarket & Industrial business segments, and serving as board lead with executive oversight of the company’s four largest joint ventures. He previously served as Senior Vice President and President – Global Truck, with P&L responsibility, and before that as President – Americas, managing multiple businesses as leader of North and South America. Prior to its acquisition by Cummins Inc. in August 2022, Meritor had global sales of approximately $4 billion and traded on the NYSE. Mr. Villavarayan currently serves as a Director on the Board of Franklin Electric and Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based non-profit organization. He earned his bachelor’s degree of civil engineering at McMaster University and completed the Wharton Executive Education Advanced Finance Program.

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Mary Zappone

Ms. Zappone has served as an independent director of Axalta since October 2023. Since 2021, Ms. Zappone has served as Chief Executive Officer of Sundyne LLC, a global leader in the design and manufacture of mission critical pumps and compressors for the chemicals, industrials, and energy markets, including renewables and decarbonization. Prior to joining Sundyne, Ms. Zappone served as Chief Executive Officer of Brace Industrial Group, Inc., a leading provider of specialty industrial construction services, from 2017 to 2021. Prior to joining Brace, she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Service Champ, Inc., a specialty distributor of consumable automotive aftermarket maintenance parts and accessories, from 2015 to 2017. Prior to joining Service Champ, Ms. Zappone served as President and Chief Executive Officer of RecoverCare LLC, a leading provider of healthcare equipment, from 2011 to 2015. Prior to joining RecoverCare, Ms. Zappone served in multiple leadership roles at Alcoa, including serving as the President of Alcoa’s Oil & Gas products business from 2008 to 2011. During her career, she has also held leadership positions at Tyco International, General Electric and Exxon, as well as at McKinsey & Co., where she advised companies in improving operating performance, capital investment, and merger and acquisition strategies.  Ms. Zappone previously served on the board of directors of Avantax, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVTA), a leading provider of tax-focused financial planning and wealth management services, where she also served as Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee.  Ms. Zappone has more than 20 years of experience leading and growing industrial companies in sectors including industrial services, chemicals, energy infrastructure, industrial manufacturing, distribution and equipment rental. She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School.