Thomas Schmidheiny to step down as Holcim CEO
One of Switzerland's captains of industry, Thomas Schmidheiny, will step down as chief executive of the Holcim cement and aggregates company.
In a statement, Schmidheiny said on Tuesday he wanted to concentrate on the strategic tasks of being chairman of the board.
The statement added that the move was part of an effort to strengthen group management because Holcim (formerly Holderbank) had experienced "dynamic growth" highlighted by a 70 per cent increase in revenue and increased market penetration since the mid 1990s.
"By separating the functions of chairman and CEO we, as a listed company, will also be taking into account of the need for effective corporate governance," Schmidheiny said.
Specifically, the board of directors is planning to establish an audit committee and a compensation committee, in line with international standards.
Schmidheiny, who had come under criticism in recent months for his role as a member of the board of the collapsed Swissair Group, will remain the company's largest shareholder.
Markus Ackermann, 54, who is in charge of Latin America on the management committee, will take over as CEO on January 1.
With majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents, Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement, sand, gravel, concrete and construction-related services.
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