Bhavesh “Bob” V. Patel
LyondellBasell Industries
CEO

Biography

In a speech to Fox School graduates in 2016, Bhavesh (“Bob”) V. Patel likened career building to home building. “If a home’s foundation is weak, then whatever is above it won’t last,” he explained. “Get the foundation right and you’ll always have something on which you can rely and build upon.” For the first 15 years of his career, Mr. Patel took his own advice and built a foundation of knowledge and experience that would ultimately propel him to the top of his industry. It’s a process that began with Chevron Corporation, where he spent several years working on the production side of the chemical industry. He later shifted to sales to further strengthen his foundation by gaining exposure to the commercial side of the business and prepare himself for management. After earning his Executive MBA at the Fox School of Business in 1999, Mr. Patel held a number of management positions with Chevron Phillips Chemical before joining LyondellBasell as its Senior Vice President of Olefins & Polyolefins in 2010. “In 2010, the company was in bankruptcy, but the bones were there. In that situation, with a family, joining this company wasn’t just about me, so there were a lot of considerations,” he explains. “I asked myself two questions that I always consider when weighing a new position: can I contribute to the company and will I learn something new? In both cases, the answer was yes.” In his new role, Mr. Patel played a key role in restructuring the business to take advantage of the shale gas expansion in the U.S. He was then asked to restructure the company’s European and Asian business and operations. He describes that first year with LyondellBasell as one of his most rewarding. “Here was a company in its darkest hours and I got to play a role in turning it around and helping 13,000 people regain their livelihood,” Mr. Patel reflects. “It’s humbling and I’ll never forget that.” Since being named CEO of LyondellBasell in 2015, Mr. Patel has successfully kept the company on its upward trajectory. Under his leadership, the company has made strategic acquisitions and opened facilities in the growing Indian and Chinese markets as well as acquired a plastics recycling business in The Netherlands to capitalize on the growing European circular economy. Mr. Patel has also overseen major capacity expansions including the construction of the company’s industry-leading Hyperzone high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in La Porte, Texas, and the world’s largest propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol (PO/TBA) plant in Channelview, Texas – the largest single investment in the company’s history. Throughout his career, Mr. Patel has always felt strongly about giving back. It’s for this reason that he stays engaged with the Fox School. “Without my Fox EMBA, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he says. “By engaging with students about their careers and futures, and with Fox School leadership and the advisory council about curriculum, I’ve been able to show my gratitude.”

Temple University Degree
Executive MBA ’99, Fox School of Business

Temple University Awards & Affiliatons
Dean’s Council, Fox School of Business

What I wanted to be when I was 20 years old
A chemical engineer

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
“Being too comfortable in your career isn’t necessarily a good thing. Take jobs where you are stretched, where you can learn and where you contribute something that someone else can’t.”