Mr. Loesser, Clariant’s current chief executive, will assume his new role following the annual general meeting (AGM) on April 7, 2006, taking over from current chairman Robert Raeber, who will reach the statutory retirement age at that time. Mr. Secher will join Clariant’s management board on Jan. 1, 2006 and take over as chief executive after the AGM.
Furthermore, Professor Dieter Seebach will retire as member of the Board of Directors. The board will propose Dr. Peter Chen, chemistry professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich to replace Dr. Seebach. Dr. Chen, 45, is an expert in physical organic chemistry and a U.S. citizen.
Commenting on the changes, Mr. Raeber said, “The continuity of Clariant’s leadership and the further implementation of the transformation program is assured by the appointment of Roland Loesser as chairman of the Board of Directors. Clariant has today a strong financial foundation and a clearly defined and promising strategic direction. I am very pleased to be able to pass on chairmanship to him.
“Clariant will benefit from the extensive experience that Mr. Secher has in the areas of international management, business development and marketing in difficult economic environments as well as in the successful implementation of restructuring programs,” Mr. Raeber said, adding that Clariant will be further aided by the expertise brought by Dr. Chen in the fields of research and innovation.
The Board of Directors thanked Mr. Raeber for the successful leadership provided over the past four years and expressed its appreciation to Dr. Seebach for his active involvement on the board, particularly in supporting Clariant’s research and development activities.
“I very much look forward to working with Jan Secher,” Mr. Loesser said. “I am convinced that he and the strong management team already in place will successfully complete the transformation program and ensure that we achieve our goal of making Clariant a leading company in the specialty chemicals sector.”
Mr. Secher, 48, is a Swedish citizen and has a master’s degree in industrial marketing from the Linkoeping Institute of Technology in Sweden. He began his career in 1982 with Asea (now ABB) in sales/marketing and product management, including a five-year stint in North America. Beginning in 1989 he was promoted to various leadership positions at ABB in Asia and Europe. He was vice president and divisional manager of ABB’s Automation & Drives Division in Japan from 1994 to 1997, and then a member of the management board of ABB in Sweden.
In 2000, Mr. Secher was relocated to ABB’s group headquarters in Zurich, and promoted in 2001 to become a member of the group’s management board with responsibility for Manufacturing and Consumer Industries, a division with some 30,000 employees and a turnover of $5 billion U.S. dollars.
Since 2003, Mr. Secher has been CEO of SICPA Group, a Lausanne-based firm that has gained a market-leading position in packaging inks and security inks for bank notes. SICPA has a turnover of nearly CHF 1 billion and approximately 3,500 employees.