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

Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities

August 20, 2014 1:06 pm ET

The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey.    More

Image

ISO publishes international standard for measuring phthalates in toys

August 19, 2014 10:40 am ET

The Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published an international standard on phthalates used as plasticizers in...    More

Image

RTP expands very long fiber thermoplastic production to Mexico

August 19, 2014 9:47 am ET

RTP Co. has introduced very long fiber reinforced compounds at its Monterrey, Mexico, facility.    More

Image

Ineos takes its first step into UK shale exploration

August 18, 2014 1:15 pm ET

Ineos Group AG has moved into United Kingdom shale exploration with the purchase of BG Group’s 51 percent share of the shale section of a joint ...    More

Image

Construction firm invests in bioplastics maker Meredian

August 15, 2014 10:22 am ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. didn't have to go far to find a new investor.    More

Market Reports

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

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events