There was one person with a bold offer behind the huge merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont: Andrew Liveris. For years, the CEO of Dow Chemical pursued a merger with his chief rival. He made his move on the first day that Edward Breen became the new CEO of DuPont. His strategy and his persistence resulted in a historic $130 billion deal between two of America’s oldest industrial powerhouses.
Liveris’ actions followed his own leadership advice that he shared with Fortune’s Susie Gharib: “Learn to play chess—not two-dimensional chess, not three-dimensional chess—four-dimensional chess. Strategize in the moment.”
Liveris’ leadership is part of the reason for his successful rise up the corporate ladder at Dow. He joined the chemical giant 40 years ago in his native Australia, and then worked throughout Asia before moving into the executive suite in the U.S. He became CEO in 2004. The secret to his success, he says, is “…reinvent[ing] yourself—constantly. I’m on my fourth version of myself.”
And he may soon have a fifth version. In the newly merged DowDupont, Liveris will take on the role of executive chairman. DuPont chief Breen will keep the CEO title.