The decline has been underway for some time. It surprises me, though, how few analysts realized it this year. Go back and read the transcripts of the quarterly calls over the last year and the hand-waving magical thinking is obvious.
Every management team has good people and bad people but ALB kept their bad leadership for too long and that demoralized and sapped and misdirected the company. Too bad. I'm still waiting to see how their final reorganization looks to see whether they cleared out their leadership problems or left some behind.
A problem back when the Gottwalds ran things was that they couldn't tell the good people from the mediocre image-masters and the politicians. So, the leadership was heavy with poor leaders. That weakness became part of the culture at Albemarle. Corporate cultures are resistant to change and their tendencies can last over decades,
Albemarle can come back but that will take time. They do have some good people but the pile of work ahead is large.