By Sandy Guthrie02 January 2018
Changes to the management structure at materials producer LafargeHolcim are designed to establish “a more market-focused and agile management organisation”, and will include the executive committee being reduced to nine members.
LafargeHolcim said the changes meant that the profit and loss responsibility of the countries would be strengthened, with a greater emphasis on developing and executing winning market strategies. The 30 largest country organisations will directly report to the executive committee, and the global business functions will be merged under one leadership.
Also, Marcel Cobuz has been appointed as head of the Europe region and a member of the executive committee. Cobuz (47), a Romanian and French citizen, succeeds Roland Köhler, who has retired.
Cobuz took up his new role at the beginning of the year. He joined LafargeHolcim in 2000, and has held various operational roles in six different countries. He has been country CEO in Indonesia, Iraq and most recently Morocco.
Köhler retired at the beginning of 2018 after more than 30 years. He was a member of the executive committee from 2010, most recently as the head of Europe, trading and Oceania.
He will continue as chairman of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. He will also continue to represent the group as a non-executive director in local subsidiaries of the company.
René Thibault has been appointed head of region North America and member of the executive committee. Thibault (51), a Canadian citizen, succeeds Pascal Casanova who is pursuing opportunities outside of the group.
Thibault joined LafargeHolcim in 1989 and has held various roles in France and Canada. He has been the CEO of Western Canada since 2012.
The two global business functions – performance and cost, and growth and innovation – will be merged into a new corporate department called growth and performance, under one leadership. LafargeHolcim said this would enable it to “simplify the interfaces with the countries and to operate a more agile global platform for best demonstrated practice”.
Urs Bleisch, currently head of performance and cost, and member of the executive committee, has been appointed head of growth and performance. Gérard Kuperfarb, head of growth and innovation, is leaving the group.
The company said that the regions would be aligned to reflect geographic and business similarities. Region Latin America will include Mexico, which was previously part of Region North America. Australia and New Zealand, previously part of Region Europe, will join Region Asia. China and Trading will report directly to the CEO.
Géraldine Picaud is joining the group as CFO in January, nearly a month earlier than previously announced.
CEO Jan Jenisch said, “Establishing a market-focused management organisation is an important step towards generating an attractive growth profile and taking the company to its next level of 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. Countries will be fully empowered and accountable for market strategies, cost discipline and results.”
He added that the new organisation would be complemented by a strengthened performance management system focusing on growth, cash conversion, capital efficiency and people development.