Neil A. Chapman

President, ExxonMobil Chemical Company

Mr. Neil A. Chapman is President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Houston, Texas. Before his appointment January 1, 2015, he was senior vice president of the company’s global polymers businesses, a position he held since 2011.


Mr. Chapman is a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the American Chemistry Council, the board of directors and executive committee of the National Association of Manufacturers and is a former member of the board and executive committee of the European Chemical Industry Council. 


Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Surrey University, England, in 1984 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 2014.

Petrochemicals in the Next Decade

The global petrochemical industry is currently experiencing a period of tremendous growth. Neil Chapman, President of ExxonMobil Chemical, will explain the factors contributing to this growth in petrochemicals today and describe the outlook for the industry’s future. Demand will continue to rise as populations increase, the global middle class grows larger, and more and more people in the developing world move to urban centers. Innovation will continue to drive advancements in sustainability, including vehicle efficiency, light-weight packaging, and recycling solutions. It is clear that the petrochemical industry will play an increasingly important role in meeting global economic and environmental goals, and Chapman will underscore the importance of continued innovation and collaboration in securing a brighter future.

Michitaka Sawada

President and Chief Executive Officer, Representative Director
Kao Corporation

Michitaka Sawada was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Kao in June 2012 and has since been responsible for championing the design and release of new mid-term K15 financial targets, as well as a new Kao Sustainability Statement to clarify Kao’s global commitments.


Sawada’s initial career at Kao includes more than thirty years in research and development, spanning both fundamental research and product development research, from the development of the polymer materials used in the iconic Bioré pore strips through to leadership on the re-engineering of Merries baby diapers after his appointment as Vice President of the Sanitary Products Research Laboratories in 2003. In 2006, Sawada became an Executive Officer of Kao and assumed broader responsibility across the entire R&D Division. He was the first to lead the Human Health Care R&D Center following its establishment in 2007 and quickly progressed to appointment to the Board of Directors in 2008.


Sawada is a Vice Chairman of the Japan Chemical Industry Association, a President of the Japan Soap and Detergent Association, a Deputy President of the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, a Chair of Committee on Consumer Goods and Services of the Japan Business Federation and a Director of the Board of the Consumer Goods Forum, a global network serving shopper and consumer needs.


Michitaka Sawada joined Kao in 1981 after earning a Master of Engineering specialized in applied chemistry from Osaka University. Sawada was born on December 20, 1955 in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. He and his wife have two daughters.

Creating Connections to Drive Innovation

For 130 years, Kao has served consumers through offerings that enrich everyday lives. A company that started off with a piece of soap - Kao Sekken - is now a well-diversified consumer goods and chemicals products manufacturer, with brands in beauty, human healthcare and fabric & home care.

The key in the continuous delivery of value to society is Kao's unique research and development capabilities. The Fundamental Research dives into the essence of things, such as skin and hair, and connects the various findings and technologies to spark new value creations by reaching out across the various Product Development Research functions. This dynamism, called the matrix management, is what enables Kao to connect, fuse, and maximize the research assets developed in fundamental research, allowing us to give birth to products that provide benefit to the consumer across a wide range of fields from consumer products all the way down to chemicals.

Through some technology and product development stories I have to share, I hope that regardless of the industry we operate in, we can step up our efforts to making a difference to society through our commitment to advancing our fundamental research capabilities - deepening, applying and connecting the key technologies that we give birth to.