Clariant senior management changes14 June 2007
The appointments create a leadership team that blends highly experienced, long-standing Clariant executives with outside talent, all of whom have excellent track records in driving change and achieving outstanding results. This also marks a major step forward in developing a culture characterised by a customer and market orientation, entrepreneurship, innovation and strong accountability. 'Our strategic direction is the right one and we are making progress toward achieving our goals', Clariant CEO Jan Secher said. 'To further accelerate our progress, I have made several key appointments to strengthen the team and to deliver on our promises.' There will be a new board of management. To lead the Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals Division, the company have appointed Philippe Royer, who will take up his duties on July 1. Royer, a French national, has spent most of the past decade as head of several business units for the global aluminium group Alcoa. To lead the Pigments & Additives Division, the company have appointed Okke Koo, who will take up his duties on August 1. Koo, a Dutch national, was until recently the chief executive of Avebe, a Netherlands based starch manufacturer, with offices in 20 countries and approximately 2,000 employees. In recognition of the vital importance of people management and of further developing a world-class performance culture, the Human Resources function will become a board of management-level position on July 1 and will continue to be led by Johann Steiner. Current board of management members Patrick Jany, chief financial officer, Siegfried Fischer, head of the Functional Chemicals, Dominik von Bertrab, head of Masterbatches, and Peter Brandenberg, head of services and international coordination, will remain in their current roles on the board of management. In Group Technology, which includes driving and coordinating research and development, the current head, Hartmut Wiezer, will be retiring at the end of the year after a long and successful career with the company. Wiezer will continue to be involved as a consultant to Clariant for selected key projects. Clariant have started their search for a new head of Group Technology and expect to make an appointment toward the end of the year. 'We are grateful to Hartmut for his many strong contributions to the company and look forward to his continued support', Secher said. Walter Vaterlaus, head of Group Communications, will be leaving Clariant in August to take up a position outside of Clariant. His replacement will be named shortly. Andreas Walde has been appointed Head of Legal, replacing Herbert Wohlmann, who will be retiring on September 1 after nearly four decades of distinguished service with the company. Walde has served as legal counsel to Clariant since 1998. Renaud Spitz has been appointed head of the newly formed Group Operational Excellence (GOE) reporting to the CEO. The GOE team is focused on supporting and enhancing change management initiatives and continuous improvement processes across the company. Until recently Spitz has been country president for France, a role that will be taken by Arnaud Frete. To enable Clariant to manage their European businesses in an increasingly cohesive and efficient manner, Hans Schmidt, currently country president for Germany, has been appointed as region president Europe, reporting to Peter Brandenberg. Henri Schloemer, currently head of finance and administration for Germany, will take over as country president for Germany. 'I am convinced that this substantially strengthened team will enable Clariant to compete successfully with the very best in our industry', Secher said.