NEWTOWN, CT-The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has appointed Willem (Wim) De Vos as its new CEO. He succeeds Susan Oderwald, who left SPE in December.

“In our worldwide search for a new chief executive officer, we were delighted to find in Wim a 20-year veteran of the plastics industry who is already active in and understands our Society, has a truly global perspective, and brings outstanding management experience at a time when SPE is focused on growth,” says Russell Broome, SPE’s 2011-2012 president. “His expertise in extending business activities into emerging markets and his global network in the plastics industry will be of enormous value in carrying out SPE’s mission of strategic growth.”

Willem De Vos comes to SPE after serving as CEO of the Vitalo Group, a global supplier of plastic packaging and thermoformed products. Previously he managed compounding and processing units of Recticel, an international producer of polyurethane automotive components. He entered the industry in 1991 with technical and sales positions at Eurocompound, a supplier to the textile and automotive industries.

As head of the Vitalo Group, De Vos oversaw an enterprise with worldwide factories and sales offices, including locations in Europe, the USA, Mexico, India, Thailand, China, Japan and the Philippines. At Recticel, he first supervised plants in Belgium and Detroit, Michigan; then, as a director of Recticel Interior Solutions, based in Germany, he was responsible for several European and Asian car brands. In addition to his responsibilities in Europe, he set up Recticel’s first plant in China, and was a board member of a Japanese joint venture.

A member of SPE, De Vos most recently served as chair-elect of the European Thermoforming Division. His speaks Dutch, English, French, German and some Italian.

De Vos holds an engineering degree in polymer chemistry from Industriële Hogeschool CTL in Gent, Belgium, and an executive MBA from the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.