Heitmann leaves Lanxess after 10 years

David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: January 27, 2014 2:46 pm ET
Updated: January 27, 2014 2:53 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers

Lanxess AG, the German-headquartered rubber and engineering thermoplastics group, said it has reached a mutual agreement to end the contract of Axel Heitmann, chairman of its board of management. The group's supervisory board said it has appointed Matthias Zachert as his successor.

Zachert, the former Lanxess chief financial officer, had left the company in 2011 to become CFO of Merck & Co. Inc.

There will be a gap between the departure of Heitmann on Feb. 28 and Zachert's start on May 15. The company's current CFO, Bernhard Duettmann, will perform the responsibilities of chairman of the board of management until Zachert's arrival, Lanxess said.

Rolf Stomberg, chairman of the Lanxess supervisory board, thanked Heitmann and credited him with helping to transform the company, which was formed from businesses spun off by Bayer AG in 2004.

"Mr. Heitmann has played a key role in shaping the company since its creation through consistent restructuring and strategic portfolio measures. He has formed Lanxess into a leading global specialty chemicals company, achieving many noticeable successes," said Stomberg.

But he also made it clear the supervisory board considered the time had come to have someone new steering the company.

Stomberg said: "Lanxess is facing significant challenges, for example in terms of market capacities and business portfolio. Therefore, the supervisory board believes it is the right time to hand over responsibility to a new leadership in order to overcome these challenges. Mr. Zachert performed excellent work as Chief Financial Officer at Lanxess and has an outstanding reputation among employees as well as in the capital market."

Under Heitman's leadership, Lanxess has followed a twin path of cost-cutting in its operations and strategic acquisitions plus investment in better performing businesses. But the group has faced continuing difficulties in some businesses, including those serving the automotive and tire markets.

In September 2013, Lanxess said it would make 1,000 layoffs from its 17,500 workforce as part of an efficiency improvement program called "Advance." Approximately 150 million euros ($205 million) in exceptional charges will be booked in 2013 and 2014 to cover the program, but the group said it expects the program to generate annual savings of roughly 100 million euros ($136.7 million) from 2015 onward.

In November, Lanxess announced poor third-quarter results, with sales falling by 5 percent year-on-year to 2.05 billion euros ($2.8 billion) and pre-exceptionals earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) falling by 26 percent to 187 million euros ($255 million). Its outlook for the whole of 2013 was pre-exceptionals EBITDA of 710 million to 760 million euros ($1.03 billion), compared with 1.225 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in 2012.

Lanxess shares increased by about 10 percent following the announcement and were trading at 48.76 euros per share in morning trading on Jan. 27 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.


Comments

Heitmann leaves Lanxess after 10 years

David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: January 27, 2014 2:46 pm ET
Updated: January 27, 2014 2:53 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Bayer spinning off plastics business

September 18, 2014 8:49 am ET

Bayer AG will spin off its MaterialScience plastics group into a separate, publicly-traded company within the next 12 to 18 months.    More

Image

Minnesota receives grant to help develop new bioplastics

September 17, 2014 4:08 pm ET

The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.    More

Image

China's Polymax Elastomer launches U.S. production in Illinois

September 17, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Chinese materials maker Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. has opened a North American production site and headquarters in Waukegan, Ill.    More

Image

PolyOne helps nonprofit get water purification to more places in need

September 17, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Resin giant PolyOne Corp. is teaming up with WaterStep, a non-profit water purification agency, to help the group assist a greater number of disaster ...    More

Image

ACI expanding in South Carolina

September 17, 2014 12:56 pm ET

Reprocessor and recycler ACI Plastics Inc. is expanding in South Carolina.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events