Michael Kane, Boral CEO (Ret): Product Innovation

Michael Kane Boral

May 14, 2021

CEO (Ret): Product Innovation

Michael Kane Boral CEO (Ret) recently retired after more than 47 years of experience at a variety of companies. He played an executive role at more than a dozen building products and materials companies. He has led startup efforts that had to do with gypsum, cement, insulation, asphalt, concrete, siding, roofing, specialty cement, and polymers. He has brought a great deal of innovation to industries all over the world that pertain to siding, roofing, insulation, cement, and gypsum. He has led sales and manufacturing teams that are located all over Latin America, Australasia, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. His work in Europe includes the former Soviet republics and Eastern Europe. In addition, Michael Kane Boral CEO (Ret), has served as a member of the US Studies Centre’s Council of Advisors.

Michael Kane Boral CEO (Ret) earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1973. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate at the DePaul University College of Law in 1983. In 2010, he completed an MS in Negotiations and Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Creighton University School of Law.

Michael Kane Boral CEO (Ret),  first led the North American Division of Boral beginning in 2010 and speaks of the dramatic shift in earnings from massive losses to respectable earnings despite Covid impacts.  Michael Kane Boral CEO (Ret), was the global CEO as well as the managing director in the city of Sydney, Australia. While he was doing this, the company transformed itself from a domestic largely Australian company to a global platform with the largest gypsum player across Asia and more than doubled the US platform in like-for-like building products and materials. Within 10 years through a series of joint ventures and acquisitions Boral became the global leader in emerging market gypsum wallboard, Australia’s unquestioned construction materials provider and led multiple building product categories in North America including – concrete roof tile, veneer stone siding, bricks, fly ash and a handful of emerging positions in windows, shutters, vinyl trim and new to market green tech fly ash composite trim and siding (True Exterior).

Michael Kane Boral CEO (Ret) has been finding the space to explore the development of new products and innovation in the area of green tech throughout his entire career. While he was at USG, he was a project lead on the commercialization of USG fiberboard, which was a paperless wallboard substitute of high-strength and a high percentage of recycled content that was prominent in the mid-1990s. In the late 1990s, Michael Kane launched the first full line of formaldehyde-free building insulation in the world at Johns-Manville. In 2009, he was the leader of a Silicon Valley startup, Calstar Products. This company significantly decreased the carbon footprint of brick manufacturing. At Boral, he  launched  Boral True Exterior Trim and Siding in 2011. This was a low carbon footprint, durable exterior building product that replaced wood as an exterior siding and trim product that would not absorb moisture, expand or contract, warp or be threatened by termites or other pests. All the aesthetics of conventional wood siding without the defects.

The Australia operations of his company launched Envisia, which was a green tech alternative to conventional cement, specifically Portland cement-based concrete. The green tech alternative used fly ash and slag elements at very high substitution rates. This came with many proven advantages when it came to commercial high-rise construction.

In addition, as part of the company’s joint venture with USG, they had the ability to launch the line of Ultra Light and EcoSmart wallboard panels technology from USG. They launched this throughout the plants in Australasia, the Asia-Pacific area, and the Middle East. In this way, they were able to bring ecologically friendly low carbon, high recycled content products to these diverse markets.A truly innovative proprietary chemistry that reduced mass, weight and water content – drove down CO2 emissions – and ended with a lighter yet stronger product than conventionally made gypsum wall and ceiling panels.