Rock to Road

LafargeHolcim CEO resigns

April 27, 2017  By  Andrew Snook

April 27, 2017 – LafargeHolcim CEO Eric Olsen handed in his resignation to the company’s board of directors on April 24 and will officially leave the company on July 15, 2017, two years after accepting the role of CEO and overseeing the implementation of the merger of Lafarge and Holcim.

Olsen stated that his resignation will help “addressing strong tensions that have recently arisen around the Syria case,” where an internal investigation by LafargeHolcim’s board of directors discovered that “a number of measures taken to continue safe operations at the Syrian plant were unacceptable, and significant errors of judgement were made that contravened the applicable code of conduct.”

According to a recent company relesase, “the findings also confirm that, although these measures were instigated by local and regional management, selected members of Group management were aware of circumstances indicating that violations of Lafarge’s established standards of business conduct had taken place.”

The board found that Olsen was not responsible for, nor thought to be aware of, any wrongdoings that have been identified as part of its review. 

“While I was absolutely not involved in, nor even aware of, any wrongdoing I believe my departure will contribute to bringing back serenity to a company that has been exposed for months on this case,” Olsen recently stated.


The board of directors recently expressed its gratitude to Olsen for his commitment to the company and his contributions as CEO integrating the two companies after the merger in 2015.

“Eric Olsen is a leader who brought together two companies to create one genuinely global champion. We are very grateful to him for his efforts,” said Beat Hess, chairman of LafargeHolcim’s board of directors.

The company stated that it will begin the search for Olsen’s successor immediately. 

Chairman of the Board Beat Hess will oversee the transition period until the appointment of the new Group CEO, and will be named the interim CEO after July 15, 2017. Roland Köhler, currently executive committee member with responsibility for Europe, Australia/New Zealand and Trading, will be appointed chief operating officer.

“After two years leading LafargeHolcim, I am proud of what we have accomplished,” Olsen said. “Putting this merger on track is a huge success that reflects the relentless commitment and passion of our 90,000 employees all around the world and is visible in our results momentum. Today, the group has everything it needs to successfully transform the industry and build sustainably our future world. I fully trust our teams to transform that ambition into reality. “

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