The Basel-based chemical company, Clariant, has named Reinhard Handte as its new CEO, following a decision by Rolf W Schweizer to step down.
Announcing Handte's appointment on Tuesday, Clariant said in a statement that Schweizer's current role as chairman and CEO would be divided in two, and that a chairman would be appointed later.
Handte, 54, is currently Clariant's chief operating officer, and will take over as CEO after the next AGM on May 16, 2001.
The 70-year-old Schweizer has been named honorary chairman.
Clariant also announced a number of changes among top management.
Roland Lösser, 58, is to step down as chief financial officer next May, but that he will remain on the board of directors. His successor is François Note, 41, currently head of human resources.
And Steve Hannam, 51, is to relinquish the running of the Life Sciences & Electronic Chemicals division. He will be replaced by the division's chief operating officer, François Darrort, 54.
Clariant was floated on the stock market as a spin off of the Sandoz chemicals division in 1995. It absorbed Hoechst specialty chemicals in 1997, and has sales of SFr10 billion ($6 billion) annually.