Bertrand Collomb, Chairman of the Lafarge Group, and Bernard Kasriel, Chief Executive Officer, announced, before the opening of the annual meeting of the Group's 150 senior managers in Evian, that the Board of Directors met on September 26 and decided, upon recommendation of its Nominations Committee, to appoint Bruno Lafont Chief Executive Officer as of 1 January 2006.
Changes in the composition of the Group's Executive Committee will also be announced this evening during the meeting of senior managers in Evian.
Commenting on this announcement, Bernard Kasriel, Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge, stated: “I am particularly delighted that Bruno Lafont will be my successor next January 1. I have worked with Bruno for numerous years, and particularly over the past three years, to prepare for my succession and changes in the Group's Executive Committee. The new organisation will enable a new generation of leaders to direct the Group toward new ambitions and new heights.”
Bertrand Collomb, Chairman of Lafarge's Board of Directors, added:
“Today's announcement is the culmination of a process that began three years ago with Bernard Kasriel, under the direction of the Board of Directors, to organize the succession of the senior management team, in keeping with the Group's spirit and traditions. I am sure the new team will remain loyal to the values of the Group even as it takes on new challenges.”
Currently Chief Operating Officer of Lafarge and Member of the Board of Directors, Bruno Lafont has conducted his entire career within the Group. Today he has joint responsibility for the Cement Division and oversees the Aggregates & Concrete Division, as well as Lafarge North America.
Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, holds top-ranking positions in all four of its divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. Lafarge employs 77,000 people in 75 countries and posted sales of €14.4 billion in 2004.
For release worldwide with simultaneous release in the United States.
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements regarding volume trends and pricing environment in the second half of 2005, as well as our expected operating income, are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Factors"), which are difficult to predict. Some of the Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the cyclical nature of the Company's business; national and regional economic conditions in the countries in which the Group does business; currency fluctuations; seasonal nature of the Company's operations; levels of construction spending in major markets; supply/demand structure of the industry; competition from new or existing competitors; unfavorable weather conditions during peak construction periods; changes in and implementation of environmental and other governmental regulations; our ability to successfully identify, complete and efficiently integrate acquisitions; our ability to successfully penetrate new markets; and other Factors disclosed in the Company's public filings with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers and the US Securities and Exchange Commission including its Reference Document and annual report on Form 20-F. In general, the Company is subject to the risks and uncertainties of the construction industry and of doing business throughout the world. The forward-looking statements are made as of this date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Bruno Lafont's career
Chief Operating Officer of Lafarge since May 2003, Bruno Lafont (born in 1956) is a graduate of the Hautes Etudes Commerciales leading business school (HEC 1977, Paris) and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA 1982, Paris).
Bruno Lafont started his career at Lafarge as an internal auditor in the Finance Department in 1983. In 1984, he joined the Sanitaryware Division (no longer part of the Group) as Chief Financial Officer in Germany. He was then successively in charge of the Division's Finance Department (1986-1988) and the International Development Department, based in Germany (1988-1989).
In 1990, he was appointed Vice President for Lafarge Cement and Aggregates & Concrete operations in Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean zone.
In 1994, Bruno Lafont was appointed Group Executive Vice President, Finance and joined the Group's Executive Committee, notably directing the public tender offer for Redland.
In 1998, Bruno Lafont was appointed Executive Vice President of the Gypsum Division and successfully orchestrated the Division's international expansion in Asia and in the US, which accounts for half the worldwide plasterboard market. Between 1998 and 2003, this business saw its sales double and its geographical presence expand from 12 to 25 countries.
In May 2003, Bruno Lafont joined the Group's Direction générale as Chief Operating Officer. He has joint responsibility for the Cement Division and oversees the Aggregates and Concrete Division, as well as Lafarge North America. Under his leadership, the Group has set about redefining the Group's vision and reformulating its business principles by rallying all its 77,000 employees around four key priorities: sharpening its customer focus, promoting a performance-based culture, delivering performance improvements and developing employees' expertise.
Bruno Lafont was appointed as a Member of the Group's Board of Directors on May 25, 2005.