Symrise on the hunt for a new CEO

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Corporate governance

Germany-based ingredients provider Symrise says it has accepted the resignation of its CEO Dr. Gerold Linzbach, citing personal reasons.

Dr. Linzbach has informed the company’s executive board that he will not be renewing his contract beyond October 2009, which means the company will be looking to replace him, although the board says it has welcomed his offer to stay on to fulfill his current contract.

In an official statement he said that he would continue to work towards developing the business, while simultaneously ensuring a smooth handover for his successor.

Andreas Schmid, chairman of the supervisory board, said that the process to find Dr. Linzbach’s successor had already been initiated, although it was not stated whether the new appointment would come from an internal promotion or from outside the company.

Search for a successor begins

“The board has reluctantly accepted Dr. Linzbach’s resignation,”​ Schmid said. “He has played a key role in the development of Symrise over the past years and can be proud of his achievements to date.”

Dr. Linzbach was appointed as CEO back in March 2005, when he took over from James Forman and was charged with the goal of lifting Symrise from the number five position in the global market for fragrance and flavours, into the top three.

Linzbach was given the role mainly on the strength of his knowledge of business development, a skill he honed in his previous position as president of Invista Resins & Fibers in the United States.

Fragrance and cosmetics sales down

The company’s financial results revealed that sales kept growing in the latest quarter, end September, up 1.6 per cent at €333.5m in actual terms.

Over the first nine months of 2008 sales grew 2 per cent to €1.009bn and in local currency terms they were up 6.1 per cent. Symrise said it remains on target to achieve sales growth for the year in the 6 to 7 per cent range.

However, the perfume and cosmetics focused division reported a sales drop of 2.3 per cent at actual rates from €521.8m last year to €509.7m.

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