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Olsen resigns as CEO of LafargeHolcim

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World Cement,

Eric Olsen has resigned as CEO of LafargeHolcim, following an internal investigation into the operation of a cement plant in Syria.

In March, the company admitted that it had uncovered dealings between plant personnel and certain armed groups – including organisations under sanction. The plant closed in September 2014.

An internal report concluded that “a number of measures taken to continue sage operations at the Syrian plant were unacceptable, and significant errors judgement were made that contravened the applicable code of conduct,” the company said.

Although the investigation concluded that Olsen was unaware of any wrongdoing, the executive took the decision to step down in the hope of “addressing strong tensions that have recently arisen around the Syria case.”

“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 said in a statement.

A search for a replacement has been launched with company chairman, Beat Hess overseeing the transition period. Hess will become interim CEO following Olsen’s departure on 15 July. Roland Köhler, currently the Executive Committee Member with responsibility for Europe, Australia/New Zealand and Trading, will be appointed Chief Operating Officer.

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