CEO of Sigma-Aldrich Dies; Successor Named
Rakesh Sachdev has been named president and CEO of Sigma-Aldrich Corp. following the unexpected death of Jai Nagarkatti, the company’s chairman, president and CEO.
The company said Nagarkatti, 63, died Nov. 13 of an apparent heart attack in St. Louis, where Sigma-Aldrich (Nasdaq: SIAL) is based. Sigma-Aldrich is a $2.15 billion life sciences and chemical company.
Nagarkatti had spent his entire career at Sigma-Aldrich, starting in 1976. He had become president and chief operating officer in 2004, CEO in 2006 and chairman in 2009. He had been on the board of directors since 2005.
In a 2008 interview with St. Louis Commerce magazine, Nagarkatti said: “Sigma-Aldrich has always been fair to me. That’s one of the key reasons I’ve stayed. Also, every year has been exciting. Of course, the phone rang several times. But I was having so much fun doing what I like to do here, that I never thought about pursuing something else, and I’m a curious person by nature. I like to explore new things.”
Barrett Toan, Sigma-Aldrich’s presiding director, said in a statement: “The entire Sigma-Aldrich global organization mourns the loss of Jai and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Susan, and his daughter, Shanti. Our deepest sympathies go out to them. He was respected by the company’s 7,700 employees and will be missed.”
On Nov. 14, Toan was elected chairman to replace Nagarkatti. Toan is former chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based Express Scripts Inc.
Sachdev, who joined Sigma-Aldrich in 2008, most recently was the company’s chief financial officer, chief administrative officer and senior vice president of the international business. He was tapped as president and CEO in line with the company’s succession plan for key executives.