December 15, 2017 / 7:19 AM / a year ago

LafargeHolcim revamps management, trims executive board

FILE PHOTO: The logo of LafargeHolcim is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - LafargeHolcim is revamping its management structure to make countries more accountable for results, the world’s largest cement maker said on Friday, in a bid to boost growth and performance.

“The strengthening of the profit and loss responsibility of the countries and the simplification of global business functions will create a leaner and more agile operating model,” Chief Executive Jan Jenisch said.

Jenisch is putting his mark on LafargeHolcim - formed by the 2015 takeover of France’s Lafarge by Swiss group Holcim - after former CEO Eric Olsen resigned in April, when the company admitted it had paid armed groups to keep a factory operating in Syria.

Earlier this week, lawyers for rights group Sherpa said Lafarge paid close to 13 million euros ($15.2 million), with a large part of the money going directly or indirectly into the pockets of Islamic State and that payments lasted until well after the closure of Lafarge’s Jalabiya plant in September 2014.

“The 30 largest country organizations will directly report to the executive committee and the global business functions will be merged under one leadership. As a result of these changes, the executive committee will be reduced to nine members,” the Swiss group said.

New finance chief Geraldine Picaud will join the group in January 2018, earlier than first announced, it added in a statement.

The group named Marcel Cobuz, who runs operations in Morocco, as head of its Europe region, replacing Roland Koehler, who will retire in early 2018.

Rene Thibault will run North America, succeeding Pascal Casanova, who is leaving the group.

The two global business functions - Performance & Cost and Growth & Innovation - will be merged into a new Growth & Performance department led by Urs Bleisch.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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