Mr. Robert C. Ayotte retired as of December 31, 2000 as president and chief executive officer of Louisville based Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc., which employed over 7500 people at more than 70 manufacturing plants in the United States and Canada.
He came to Louisville in 1981 as president and general manager of Corhart Refractories Company, which was then a Corning subsidiary. In 1985 he led a management team in acquiring Corhart in a leveraged buyout and became its president and chief executive officer. In 1987, he sold this company to the French company, Saint-Gobain, and became president and chief executive officer of what is now named Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc. Under his leadership the company grew 15 times and became the worldwide leader in industrial ceramics and high performance plastics. He is past Chairman of the President’s Council of Industrial Advisors, American Ceramic Society and the Refractories Institute. He has also served as a Director of the National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, DC. Mr. Ayotte has also served on other civic, academic, and public company boards.
Mr. Ayotte has been deeply involved in Louisville and other Kentucky civic activities serving in senior leadership positions for the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement Kentuckiana, and the University of Louisville Athletic Association. He was a member of Leadership of Louisville Class of 1986.
Currently, Mr. Ayotte serves as a senior member of the University of Louisville Board of Overseers; a member of the Board of Advisors of the University of Louisville College of Business and the Executive Committee of the Advisory Council of the University of Rhode Island College of Engineering. Mr. Ayotte also serves as a director of Vogt Ice, LLC.