Jon M. Huntsman
Material, Process, Management
An inventor, entrepreneur extraordinaire, and philanthropist. Chairman and chief executive officer of the Huntsman group of companies, the largest privately-held producer of petrochemicals in the nation.
A native of Blackfoot, ID, Huntsman graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and later received his MBA degree. At the relatively young age of 30, he was appointed president of Dow's Dolco Packaging in southern California. He left to serve under President Nixon as special assistant to the President and White House staff secretary. He later founded Huntsman Container Co. This new enterprise revolutionized the plastics industry by inventing and marketing the fast food hamburger containers so widely used today.
Throughout the 1970s he continued with the development of new products in rigid plastics and foam. By 1980, he sold Huntsman Container to Keys Fiber and took a three-year sabbatical to serve his church.
He re-entered the plastics industry in 1983 with the purchase of Shell Chemical's polystyrene plant in Belpre, OH. Through expansion and acquisition in the U.S. and abroad, he established Huntsman Chemical Corporation as a major world participant in the production of polystyrene and styrene monomer.
Additional acquisitions from Shell in 1988 and Elf Atochem in France in 1993, along with a joint-venture purchase of Texaco Chemical Co., expanded Huntman's global presence. Huntsman recently opened a plastics packaging plant in Gorlovka, Ukraine. From his executive offices in Salt Lake City, he oversees operations at 38 sites around the globe in 14 countries, manufacturing approximately 5 billion pounds of petrochemical products each year and employing over 5,000 people.
In addition to his inventive and entrepreneurial greatness, he has been most generous in the contribution of millions of dollars towards engineering education in the plastics industry, as well as worldwide humanitarian programs for the handicapped and the homeless. His service to the Mormon church has also been significant.
He serves on numerous corporate, civic, and cultural boards, including Bankers Trust of New York and Campbell Soup. He is formerly vice chairman, United States Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Pennsylvania, and an overseer for the Wharton School.
He and his wife, Karen, reside in Salt Lake City, UT. They are the parents of nine children.