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Spice Co. CEO McCormick To Retire

March 15, 1999

SPARKS, Md. (AP) _ Charles P. ``Buzz″ McCormick, who twice turned around the fortunes of the spice company that bears his family name, plans to retire again.

McCormick, who will be 71 in May, will retire for the second time at McCormick & Co.’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday. He plans to pass the chairman’s title to Robert J. Lawless, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

When McCormick first took the reins in 1987, few expected him to match the legacies of the first two family members who ran the company _ his great-uncle and company founder, Willoughby McCormick, and his father, Charles P. McCormick Sr.

But it was Buzz McCormick who steered the firm through two rough periods and likely ensured that it remained a Baltimore-area concern.

During his first tenure, he undertook a five-year restructuring plan that propelled McCormick & Co.’s shares to a sixfold increase _ a startling performance in the slow-growth food industry.

McCormick stepped down from active management with the title of chairman emeritus in 1993, but returned as CEO in October 1995 amid a ruinous price war with Burns Philp & Co. of Australia. After several years, McCormick & Co. won the price war, leaving Burns Philp nearly bankrupt.

In 1997, McCormick stepped down as CEO in favor of Lawless, an insider with international experience.

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