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Clariant restructures business units, reorganizes leadership

June 24, 2022
Chemical Value Chain

Clariant says it is reducing its number of businesses from five to three, by merging units, under a reorganization that is in line with the company’s purpose-led strategy and cultural transformation. The moves will position Clariant for long-term sustainable growth, the company says. Clariant has appointed new presidents for each combined business unit, and it says they will be located in the regions with the largest customer base and highest growth potential for the respective businesses.

The company says it is combining its existing catalysts business unit, and biofuels and derivatives business line, into one business unit called catalysts. Jens Cuntze, previously head/corporate planning and strategy at Clariant, has been appointed president of the new combined catalysts unit and the APAC region, the company says.

The functional minerals and additives business units are being combined into a single unit called adsorbents and additives. Angela Cackovich has been named president of the adsorbents and additives business unit and the EMEA region, the company says. She is joining Clariant from tapes and adhesives solutions manufacturer Tesa (Norderstedt, Germany).

Clariant’s industrial and consumer specialties business unit and its oil and mining services are being merged into a combined unit called care chemicals. Christian Vang will become president of the care chemicals business unit and the Americas region, Clariant says. His most recent positions at Clariant included head/industrial and consumer specialties and head/corporate planning and strategy.

Clariant says the reorganization has no impact on its financial reporting by business area within the current fiscal year.

“Clariant has undergone a successful portfolio change in recent years and is now a true specialty chemicals company. Now is the right time to align the organization more closely to customers, businesses, and markets,” says Günter von Au, chairman of Clariant.

The company is also creating a new executive steering committee consisting of Clariant’s CEO Conrad Keijzer, CFO Bill Collins, and the presidents of the new business units, who will have full profit and loss (P&L) responsibility, effective 1 July. The new structure will enable Clariant to reduce hierarchical layers and overall complexity across its business functions, the company says. “It is expected to foster greater accountability, speed up decision-making processes, and enhance customer proximity, while strengthening diversity,” Clariant says.

The roles of chief transformation officer (CTO) and chief operating officer (COO) are being eliminated, since the new structure enables direct reporting lines from Clariant’s business units to the CEO, the company says. As a result, Hans Bohnen, Clariant’s COO, and Bernd Hoegemann, Clariant’s CTO, are stepping down from their current roles and will pursue their careers outside the company, Clariant says.

The newly created executive steering committee, together with the company’s chief human resources officer Tatiana Berardinelli, general counsel Alfred Münch, newly appointed chief corporate development officer Chris Hansen, and chief technology and sustainability officer Richard Haldimann, will form Clariant’s executive leadership team, the company says.

In addition, Clariant has launched its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) roadmap, which is an essential part of its new purpose-led strategy, the company says. According to the roadmap, Clariant aims to strengthen the gender balance at the management level by doubling the female representation to at least 30% by 2030. The company also says it “strives” to increase the share of leaders with national origin outside Europe from 32% to more than 40% over the same period.

“With our new operating model and cultural transformation, we will foster better customer orientation, greater empowerment, accountability, and transparency, and take a new approach to leadership development promoting an inclusive and diverse culture—thereby securing Clariant’s position to achieve its 2025 targets, in line with our purpose-led strategy,” says Keijzer.

The company launched the purpose-led strategy Greater chemistry–between people and planet in November 2021. Under the strategy, Clariant aims to deliver profitable growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4–6%, a group EBITDA margin in the range of 19–21%, and a free cash flow conversion of about 40% by 2025.

In February, the company introduced a new worldwide operating model for its innovation and sustainability unit to accelerate sustainability-driven innovation, a key component of the purpose-led strategy.

By Sotirios Frantzanas


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