Lafarge and Holcim have approved the appointment of Eric Olsen as the future chief executive officer of LafargeHolcim, to be in office as from the closing of the merger project.
Mr Olsen (51), who has dual American and French nationalities, is presently Lafarge executive VP, Operations and has been a member of the Group’s Executive Committee since 2007. He has held senior positions in operations and in the fields of finance, human resources and strategy, according to a statement by the two groups.
The decision comes after some Holcim shareholders demanded changes to an initial agreement that would have seen Lafarge chief Bruno Lafont as head of the new entity.
Commenting on Mr Olsen's appointment, Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of the Holcim Board and future co-chairman of LafargeHolcim said: “I very much welcome Eric Olsen as future CEO for LafargeHolcim. With his broad international experience and insights in key markets, he is best positioned to lead the combined company for the benefit of employees, shareholders and customers. Bruno and I will support Eric Olsen in creating a new joint culture that will be the key driver for our premier competitive position.”
Lafarge chairman and CEO, and future LafargeHolcim co-chairman, Bruno Lafont, said: “Eric has been proposed as future CEO of LafargeHolcim both for his personal and professional qualities. He has a deep knowledge of our activities, clients and markets. He is driven, with energy and determination. He is a true leader, with the ability to bring the teams together to drive a strong value creation culture for our shareholders. I have every confidence in his ability to deliver the synergies announced and ensure the development and the success of LafargeHolcim.”
Mr Olsen joined the Lafarge Group in 1999 and has been a member of its Executive Committee since 2007. He joined Lafarge North America in 1999, as senior VP for Strategy and Development, leading the integration of Blue Circle’s North American operations and restructuring cement assets. Since 2001, he served as both president, North-East Cement region and senior VP, Purchasing. Since 2004, Mr Olsen served as CFO and senior VP for Lafarge North America.
From 2007 to 2012, he served as executive VP, Organisation and Human Resources of Lafarge Group. In this role, he led the integration of the Egyptian Orascom, a major acquisition with operations in Africa, Middle East and Asia. Mr Olsen also led the 2012 reorganisation of the group with a focus on country organisation around end-market segments.
Prior to Lafarge, Mr Olsen started his career in the field of M&A at Deloitte & Touche, Banque Paribas and was one of the managing partners of Trinity Associates for six years.
He is a business graduate from the University of Colorado, Certified Public Accountant (Chicago, USA), and holds a Master of Business Administration from HEC international business school in Paris.
Eric Olsen is presently a Board Member of Cimpress NV, chairing its compensation committee and is a member of its audit committee. He is the Chairman of the Board for the American School of Paris.