Airgas, Inc., one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, today announced that Andrew R. Cichocki has been named President - Airgas USA, LLC, effective the 1st of April 2014.

Cichocki, a member of Airgas’ Management Committee, will lead all aspects of Airgas USA, LLC - sales, operational, organisational, and financial - and will continue to report to Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer Michael L. Molinini.

Formed in 2011, Airgas USA, comprises the majority of Airgas’ US distribution business units, including its four Divisions, four Business Support Centers, and 15 distribution regions. The alignment of its legal entity structure with its operating model through the formation of Airgas USA, has enabled Airgas to create a more seamless interface with its customers nationwide following the implementation of SAP.

“With the SAP implementation in our distribution business behind us and proficiency with the new system steadily improving, we can increase our focus on leveraging our unified distribution platform to drive operational efficiencies and, as importantly, on fully developing our sales channels to strengthen our industry-leading position,” said Molinini. “Airgas USA accounts for the majority of Airgas’ consolidated net sales and will benefit the most from the full development of our sales channels, including our Strategic Accounts and field sales programs, our e-Business channel following the launch of the new later this year, and the full implementation of Airgas Total Access.”

“Andy has been a key leader in the successful implementation of SAP and in the achievement of the early benefits related to SAP, most of which have been within the business units under the Airgas USA umbrella,” Molinini continued. “Bringing his proven leadership skills, field operational experience, and financial acumen to bear across all aspects of Airgas USA will enhance our ability to capitalise on the tremendous long-term growth prospects for our distribution business.”

“In his more than 25 years at Airgas, Andy has taken on increasing responsibility and has been a key contributor in just about every facet of our growing business,” said Airgas Executive Chairman Peter McCausland. “He has developed into a true leader and is clearly ready to take on this critically important role in our organisation.”

In addition to the majority of his current team, Cichocki’s key direct reports will now include Airgas’ four division presidents, as well as Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing, Ronald J. Stark.

Cichocki most recently served as Senior Vice President - Distribution Operations and Business Process Improvement for Airgas, Inc., a position he held since 2011. In addition to oversight of various business units, Cichocki has been responsible for Airgas’ welding hardgoods and safety products distribution infrastructure, product sourcing and management, cylinder gas engineering and supply chain, and fleet management. He has also been responsible for Airgas’ business process improvement initiatives, including strategic pricing and SAP implementation activities.

Cichocki served as Division President - Process Gases and Chemicals from 2008 to 2011, and also served as President of Airgas National Welders, one of Airgas’ large regional distribution companies, beginning in 2003. Prior to that, he served in key corporate roles for Airgas including Senior Vice President - Human Resources, Senior Vice President - Business Operations and Planning, and Vice President - Corporate Development.

Cichocki joined Airgas in 1988. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Delaware and earned an MBA from Villanova University.