MSA's New Leader Ready for May 13 Handover

Mine Safety Appliances Co. has come a long way since its founding in 1914 and a long way since John T. Ryan III followed his grandfather and father as the Pittsburgh company's leader in 1991. At the May 13 annual meeting in that city, Ryan will step aside and hand the jobs over to current President/COO Bill Lambert, who joined MSA in 1981 as a design engineer. The annual meeting follows a record sales year for the company in 2007 -- $990.3 million, up 8 percent from 2006's $913.7 million. The company will report first quarter 2008 sales May 1.

Ryan is retiring as an MSA employee as he nears his 65th birthday, but he will remain an MSA director. "Since our founders, all of the CEOs of the company, who were fortunate to live to age 65, retired from this position at that time and likewise it seems sensible for me to do so also," Ryan said recently. "One of my particular satisfactions at this time is the breadth and skill of our management staff at MSA, which we have built up over the recent decade and a half. Bill will have an excellent team with whom to work in the years ahead, both at the executive level and at all positions throughout this organization in the many countries in which we have operations."

The two men rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange on April 15. Matters to be voted on at the annual meeting are a 2008 management equity incentive plan in which about 150 employees would be eligible to participate, a 2008 non-employee directors' equity incentive plan, and approval of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as MSA's accounting firm for 2008.

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