Matthias Zachert Steps in as Lanxess CEO

02.04.2014 -

Amid great expectations, Matthias Zachert stepped into his new role as chairman of the managing board at Lanxess on April 1.

The former chief financial officer of the German specialty chemicals company, who replaces former CEO Axel Heitmann, moves from Merck KGaA, where he had served as CFO since mid-2011.

"I am looking forward to the new tasks back at my former workplace. In the coming weeks and months, we will work hard together to find solutions on how we will tackle the challenges lying ahead of us. With the support of all employees, I am sure we will return Lanxess to winning ways soon," Zachert said in a statement.

Lanxess' supervisory board and the stock markets are relying on the 46-year-old executive, the youngest chief executive among German blue chip companies listed in the DAX 30 index, to turn around the finances of the ten-year-old former Bayer spin-off, which posted a net loss of €159 million for 2013.

Parallel to the change at the top, Lanxess has announced a number of organizational and personnel changes. With immediate effect, the group functions Investor Relations and Law & Intellectual Property, previously reporting to the CFO, will report directly to Zachert. Markus Eckert has been named head of the group function Corporate Development in addition to his duties as head of the Leather business unit.