European Companies Name New Chairmen | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 20, 2008

European Companies Name New Chairmen

Rhodia, Clariant, and Wacker make changes at the top
Department: Business

Just in time to meet a serious economic downturn, the supervisory boards of three European chemical makers have appointed new chairmen for their firms.

For Rhodia, the change is a broadening of assignments for current Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pierre Clamadieu. Following the retirement of chairman Yves-René Nanot earlier this week, Rhodia's board has decided to combine the functions of chairman and CEO, and has appointed Clamadieu to the newly enlarged post. Clamadieu has been CEO of Rhodia since October 2003. He joined the French company in 1993, following a nine-year stint at the French Ministry of Industry.

At Clariant, the company's board of directors has tapped industry veteran J??rg Witmer as its new chairman effective April 10. He will succeed Roland L??sser, who is leaving the post for personal reasons. "Clariant will benefit" from Witmer's professional experience, L??sser says. Witmer has served on the Swiss firm's board since April 2007. He was CEO of Givaudan from 1999 to 2005, where he now is chairman. He has held senior management positions at Roche, and he is a current member of the board of directors at Syngenta.

And in Germany, Wacker's supervisory board has completed a management line-up reshaping that was announced in December. Spurring the new assignments was the decision of current President and CEO Peter-Alexander Wacker to leave the executive board. At Wacker's annual meeting on May 8, he will be a candidate for chairmanship of the supervisory board. The current chairman of the supervisory board, Karl Heinz Weiss, has served in that post for 20 years and will retire after the meeting. Wacker will be succeeded as president and CEO by Rudolf Staudigl, who has been a member of the company's executive board since 1995.

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