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Airgas Announces New Division Alignment for Regional Companies

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), Radnor, PA, announced the alignment of its 12 regional companies into four new divisions. The four new divisions, identified as North, South, Central, and West, form an operating structure that will help Airgas leverage the full benefits of its new customized SAP information platform, according to a news release. The company also announced two related leadership appointments for distribution operations and Gases Production. All appointments are effective July 1, 2011.

Each division will be led by a division president whose direct reports include a division chief financial officer, division vice president of human resources, and regional company presidents

The North Division includes the Airgas Great Lakes, Airgas East, and Airgas North Central Regional Companies and will be led by Shaun Powers, former East Division President.

The South Division, which includes the Airgas South, Airgas National Welders, and Airgas Mid America Regions, will be led by Mike Rohde, formerly Senior Vice President, Distribution Operations.

Terry Lodge, former Airgas Mid South President since 2007, will assume the leadership post of the Central Division, which includes the Airgas Mid South, Airgas Southwest, and Airgas Intermountain Regions.

The new Airgas West Division, which includes the Airgas West, Airgas Northern California and Nevada, and Airgas Nor Pac Regions, will be led by Max Hooper.

Included in the realignment is the creation of Business Support Centers (BSCs) within each new Airgas Division. According to Mike Molinini, Airgas COO, each division BSC will be a financial and administrative operation staffed with between 130 and 200 associates and will be responsible for the Division's financial statements and administration.

In related moves, Airgas named two other key leaders whose roles will support the realignment:

Andy Cichocki has been named Senior Vice President - Distribution Operations and Business Process Improvement. In addition to his new role, he will retain responsibility for Airgas Specialty Products, Airgas Nitrous Oxide, and Airgas Refrigerants. Tom Thoman has been named Division President - Gases Production. Thoman will be responsible for Gases Production.

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