|Intro||American business executive|
|Is||Businessperson Business executive|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||22 January 1956, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA|
Ellen J. Kullman (born January 22, 1956) is a United States business executive. She was formerly Chair and Chief Executive Officer of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company ("DuPont") in Wilmington and is a former director of General Motors. Forbes ranked her 31st of the 100 Most Powerful Women in 2014. Kullman retired from DuPont on October 16, 2015.
Kullman was born Ellen Jamison in Wilmington, Delaware, the younger daughter of Joseph and Margaret Jamison. She has two older brothers and an older sister. Kullman attended Tower Hill School in Wilmington and then studied mechanical engineering at Tufts University, where she received her bachelor's degree in 1978. In 1983, she received a master's degree in management from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Kullman began her business career at General Electric and joined DuPont in 1988 as marketing manager in the company's medical imaging business. In her later role as executive vice president she was responsible for four of DuPont's business platforms as well as for leading the company's growth in markets outside the USA.
DuPont's board of directors elected Kullman President and a director of the company, coming into effect October 1, 2008, and Chief Executive Officer, coming into effect January 1, 2009. She was the nineteenth executive, and the first woman, to lead the company in its 212-year history. Fortune magazine named Kullman fifteenth in its list of the world's fifty most powerful women for 2008, and fifth on the list for 2009 and 2010. In 2014 she was ranked as the 31st most powerful woman in the world, up from 42nd in 2013. The Wall Street Journal named her eighth on its 2008 list of "Women to Watch".
Kullman was a director of General Motors from 2004-2008 and was elected to the board of trustees of Tufts University in 2006.
On October 30, 2009, DuPont announced that its board of directors had elected Kullman as Chair of the company effective December 31, 2009.
She was a member of the Executive Committee of The Business Council for 2011 - 2013.
On June 6, 2013 the US-China Business Council announced that Kullman had been elected as its Chair.
Kullman's retirement was announced by DuPont on October 5, 2015 (effective October 16, 2015) following a battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz and Trian Fund Management, his investment firm. Peltz sought 4 board seats and argued that DuPont needed to cut costs and meet financial targets, but had lost a shareholder vote earlier in the year.
On December 21, 2016, Kullman joined the Board of Directors of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. as an independent director.
Awards and honors
Kullman has been awarded Sellinger's Business Leader of the Year. In 2014, she was given the George Washington Carver Award for innovation in industrial biotechnology. She is the first woman to receive the award. In 2015, Kullman received the International Palladium Medal from the Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section), the Engineering Leader of the Year Award, the Pete du Pont Individual Freedom Award, and Delaware's Order of the First State. She is also a recipient of the Msgr. Thomas J. Reese Award from Catholic Charities.
On March 26, 2018, Kullman's alma mater Tufts University announced they would be awarding her an honorary degree. In the weeks leading up to graduation, this was met by University-wide outrage. During her speech at the University's graduation, hundreds of students protested with signs and turned their backs to her.
Kullman is married to Michael Kullman and they have three children.