Loss-making Swiss specialty chemicals group Clariant has appointed a new CEO following the resignation of Reinhard Handte at a board meeting on Tuesday.This content was published on March 12, 2003 - 11:43
In a statement, Clariant said the board of directors had unanimously appointed Roland Lösser as the new chief executive.
Lösser has been a member of the Clariant board for three years and was previously the company's chief financial officer.
Analysts said Handte had lost investors' confidence after Clariant last month reported a surprise loss of SFr648 million ($487 million) for 2002.
Investors had feared Clariant might propose a capital increase of SFr600 million, but the company announced on Wednesday that the board had decided not to ask investors for more funds at present.
Lösser said the company was sticking to its target of decreasing its debt burden by SFr1 billion this year.
"We want to strengthen our capital base," Lösser said.
Clariant said the board had "expressed its recognition" of the contributions made to the company by Handte, who had insisted that he would not be ousted.
Even as the board prepared to meet on Tuesday, he stood by his decision to remain at the helm of the troubled firm.
Clariant has posted a net loss for two years running following its £1 billion takeover of Britain's BTP chemicals firm in 2000.
Announcing its 2002 loss, Clariant warned it would cut up to 1,700 jobs as part of cost-cutting measures.
Roland Lösser is the new CEO of Clariant
The previous CEO, Reinhard Handte, resigned after coming under pressure from the board of directors.
Handte had lost investor confidence after Clariant reported an SFr648 million loss last month.
Clariant said that despite expectations to the contrary, it would not propose a capital increase.
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