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Praxair announces senior leadership changes

Staff writer |
Danbury, Conn., USA - December 16, 2013, Danbury, Conn., USA - Praxair, Inc., an international industrial gases company, announced changes to the company’s senior leadership team, effective January 1, 2014.

Anne Roby has been promoted to senior vice president, responsible for Global Supply Systems, R&D, Global Market Development, Global Operations Excellence, Global Procurement, Sustainability and Safety, Health and Environment.

Ms. Roby is currently president of Praxair Asia. She will serve on the company’s executive leadership team.

Since 2011, Ms. Roby has been president of Praxair Asia, responsible for Praxair’s industrial gases business in China, India, South Korea and Thailand as well as the electronics market globally. She joined Praxair in 1991 as a development associate in the company’s R&D organization.

She became global marketing manager for chemicals and refining in 1996 and moved to Houston in 1999 to become a pipeline sales and business manager in the North American Industrial Gases business unit.

Ms. Roby was named area director in 2004, responsible for commercial activities related to both pipeline and merchant atmospheric products. In 2006, she became vice president of the U.S. South Region, responsible for Praxair’s business in a seven-state area that includes many of Praxair’s major chemicals and refining customers.

She was appointed vice president, global sales for Praxair, Inc. in 2009. In 2010, Roby became president of Praxair Electronics, with global responsibility for products, services and technologies supplied to the semiconductor, flat panel display, LED and solar industries.

Ms. Roby earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. She holds four patents for industrial gas applications and serves as president of the Asia Industrial Gases Association.

She will succeed Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Ray Roberge, who has announced his plan to retire after 40 years of service with the company.

Mr. Roberge was named senior vice president and chief technology officer for Praxair in 2008. He joined Praxair in 1973 in research and development and subsequently held positions in applications technology, business management, marketing and Accelerated Quality Implementation. In 1996, he became director of business development for advanced air separation and added ceramic membrane development to his portfolio two years later.

He moved to Global Supply Systems in 1998 as director of product line development. He became vice president of Praxair/MRC in 1999, and in 2002 was named vice president, Sales and Business Development, for Praxair Electronics. He became president of Praxair Electronics in 2005.

Mr. Roberge holds a bachelor’s degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, both in chemical engineering.

John Panikar has been promoted to president of Praxair Asia, responsible for managing Praxair’s industrial gases business in Asia as well as the Middle East.

Mr. Panikar is currently president of Praxair Distribution, Inc. He was appointed president of Praxair Distribution, Inc. in 2010, responsible for managing Praxair’s U.S. packaged gases business. He joined Praxair in 1991 and held a variety of assignments in operations and project management in Praxair’s electronics business before being appointed Asia business manager for electronics in 1999.

He was named director of business development for Praxair Asia in 2002, with additional responsibility for managing the helium, specialty gases, medical gases and carbon dioxide growth markets for Praxair India. He became managing director of Praxair India in 2004. In 2008, he was named vice president, product management and analysis, for Praxair’s North American Industrial Gases business unit and was appointed vice president of the U.S. South Region in 2009.

Mr. Panikar holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester. He completed the Advanced Management program at Harvard Business School in 2010.

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