Seifi Ghasemi is the man responsible for running Air Products & Chemicals. For those who are curious, the corporation specializes in selling both gases and other chemicals for industrial use, meaning that its name is very literal in nature. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Seifi Ghasemi:
1. Went to Abadan Institute of Technology
Education-wise, Ghasemi went to the Abadan Institute of Technology, which was founded in the city of Abadan on the island of Abadan. With that said, the school has seen more than one name change because of its ever-evolving nature, which is why it is now called the Petroleum University of Technology. When it was still called the Abadan Institute of Technology, it specialized in general engineering.
2. Went to Stanford University
Later on, Ghasemi went to Stanford University to study for a Master of Science in mechanical engineering. Most people will have heard of Stanford University to some extent because it is one of the best schools in the United States. However, there are other reasons it stands out, with an excellent example being how it excels at attracting funding for itself as well as for startups.
3. Used to Be with The BOC Group
Ghasemi hasn't always been with Air Products & Chemicals. For instance, there was a time when he was with The BOC Group, which is an industrial gas company based in Britain. Nowadays, The BOC Group is no longer an independent company. Instead, it is a subsidiary of the Linde Group, which bought it out in 2006 in exchange for more than 11 billion euros.
4. Has Worked At Other Companies As Well
In total, Ghasemi spent close to 20 years at The BOC Group, meaning that his time there makes up a huge portion of his curriculum vitae. However, in between The BOC Group and Air Products & Chemicals, he spent a fair amount of time working for other companies as well. One example was GKN, while another example was Rockwood Holdings.
5. Chairman of Versum Materials
Currently, Ghasemi is serving as not just the CEO but also the President as well as the Chairman for Air Products & Chemicals. On top of that, he is serving as the Chairman of Versum Materials as well, which makes sense because Versum Materials was a business that was spun off of Air Products & Chemicals in 2016. As for the nature of Versum Materials's operations, suffice to say that the corporation specializes in electronic materials.
6. Has a Connection with Lafayette College
It is interesting to note that Ghasemi has had a connection with Lafayette College for a very long time, which explains why he was awarded a honorary Doctor of Science degree by the school in 2017. In short, the program that he was enrolled in at the Abadan Institute of Technology was actually established through a partnership with Lafayette College, meaning that Ghasemi became acquainted with a number of the school's alumni as well as faculty members through it. In particular, Ghasemi has mentioned a Lafayette graduate by the name of William A. Kirby Jr., who taught English at Abadan in spite of the fact that he wasn't that much older than his students.
7. Gives Credit For Much of His Success to His Education in the Humanities
The program was meant to produce general engineers who could meet the needs of Iran's oil industry. However, it had a huge focus on the humanities, so much so that the first two years of the program consisted of humanities and nothing but humanities. Ghasemi has credited this educational background for a fair amount of his success because in his opinion, it taught him the right way to think through problems. On top of that, Ghasemi has stated that his humanities education made him a better-rounded as well as a more interesting individual.
8. Got Some Hands-On Experience As a Student
As a student, Ghasemi managed to get some hands-on experience as well. This is because the students in the general engineering program at Abadan were required to work at an oil refinery during the summer months. In the earlier years, the students worked alongside the people on the metaphorical frontline of things. However, by the time that they had reached their senior year, they were actually responsible for running the refractors in the control room itself. Due to this, Ghasemi got a better understanding of what it was like to work in a plant as well as what plant operators actually do with their time. Something that has enabled him to communicate with greater ease with a wide range of individuals at the companies that he has worked at as well as the companies that he continues to interact with on a regular basis.
9. Likes the EBITDA Margin For Showing the Progress that His Corporation Has Made
Ghasemi has commented on his fondness for the EBITDA margin for showing the progress that Air Products & Chemicals has made under his leadership. In short, EBITDA is a business's earnings before its interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are deducted from them, meaning that it can be considered a useful way to gauge the performance of its operations. EBITDA margin is just EBITDA as a percentage of the business's total revenues, which makes for a useful way to tell how well the business is doing when it comes to earning a profit from its operations.
10. Believes in the Importance of a Clear Road Map
Speaking of which, Ghasemi is a believer in the importance of having a clear road map. This makes sense because without knowing where they want to go, relevant parties can't measure the progress that they have made towards said goal. Unfortunately, while maintaining a clear road map might sound simple and straightforward, it isn't uncommon for a wide range of people as well as a wide range of organizations to lose sight of theirs for various reasons, which can have serious consequences if they head off-course without being aware of what is happening.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee