3M says the company's board plans to name a successor to CEO George Buckley later this year, and aims to name an insider as the next leader of Maplewood-based company.
Buckley's contract with 3M expires in February of next year. He took the reins in late 2005.
On a conference call with investors, Buckley said he's not ready to retire yet and that there will be a few steps between now and his ultimate retirement.
"It will all be orderly," Buckley said. "People will know everybody. It won't be a great surprise; it won't be a great threat like someone coming from the outside."
Earlier Monday, 3M reported fourth quarter net income of $928 million, a decline of about 1 percent compared to the year before. Sales were up 10 percent, but the company's profit margin shrank by 2.5 percentage points.
The earnings beat analyst estimates, but investors still pushed down 3M's stock price. Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck thinks investors were disappointed in the lackluster performance of 3M's closely watched optical films business, and by management's slow response to rising raw material costs.
"That's probably something that could have been anticipated, so there was probably some disappointment there," Fleck said.
Fleck said the company typically is more nimble in boosting prices to offset higher costs.