NEW YORK -- Dow Chemical is creating a new global business unit structure and is establishing an executive committee.

The Midland, Mich.-based company said Tuesday that the global business unit model will include business presidents that will be responsible for helping to increase earnings and advancing the company's strategy. The business presidents, which will be announced later this week, will report to the executive committee.

Executive committee members include Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris; Chief Financial Officer Bill Weideman and Executive Vice-Presidents James Fitterling, Joe Harlan and Howard Ungerleider.

The executive committee will set the company's overall direction and strategy and monitor results.

Liveris said in a statement that The Dow Chemical Co. will have less structure at the top of the company "with more deployment and implementation in the markets and out in the field."

"We are putting in place the optimal structure for the next phase of our strategy that will better enable us to intensely focus on our customer and on developing markets around the world," he said.

Dow Chemical shares fell 46 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $28.85 in late afternoon trading. Its shares have fallen about 20 per cent since hitting a 52-week high of $36.08 in late April. They fell as low as $20.61 last October.