• Switzerland's news in English
 

Lufthansa chief to take over as Roche chairman

Published: 16 Sep 2013 09:05 GMT+02:00

"Christoph Franz has informed Deutsche Lufthansa AG that he is not available for an extension of his contract as chairman of the executive board and CEO," Lufthansa said in a statement.
   
Switzerland's Roche said in a statement that Franz has been nominated to succeed its chief Franz Humer, who plans to retire early next year.
   
Roche said Franz would be proposed formally to its shareholders at the group's annual meeting on March 4th.
   
Franz said he was "delighted" to be joining the Basel-based giant.
   
"Roche is an outstanding company," Franz said.

"As a board member I have had ample opportunity to get to know and admire its strong business performance and corporate culture," he said.

"Strategically, Roche is in very good shape, and I am looking forward to taking on this opportunity."
   
Humer, a 67-year-old Austrian and Swiss dual citizen, has been with Roche since 1995.
   
He became chief operating officer in 1998 and chairman in 2001.
   
Humer lauded 53-year-old Franz, saying that Roche was "getting a chairman with outstanding personal qualities and an impressive record as head of a major global company".
   
Swiss-based analysts Helvea echoed that, saying Franz's track record was crucial and that "the proposed election looks to be positive for Roche's future".
   
Franz's intentions to leave Germany's flagship carrier, which he has headed since January 2011, were first reported on Sunday in the Die Welt online edition, which quoted his inner circle.

Switzerland's Neue Zürcher Zeiting had meanwhile said he was poised to take over at Roche.
   
Franz has carved out his career in the transport sector, having moved between Lufthansa and German rail company Deutsche Bahn.
   
But the German also knows the pharmaceutical sector from serving on Roche's supervisory board since 2011.
   
He has strong ties with Switzerland, having led the Lufthansa-owned company Swiss International Air Lines from 2004 to 2009, turning around the airline which was crafted from defunct carrier Swissair.
   
Franz said the decision to leave — after 15 years in the Lufthansa group —  was "anything but easy".
   
"I like working for this company," he said.

"But for career reasons, I have decided to end my work for the Lufthansa group once my contract expires in May 2014."
   
By that time, the airline's restructuring programme and key investment decisions "will have laid the foundation for Lufthansa's future success," Franz said.

"That is a suitable time for a change in management," he added.
   
Lufthansa's supervisory board chief Wolfgang Mayrhuber said he "regretted" Franz's decision to quit.
   
Investors appeared somewhat unnerved over Lufthansa's future after the announcement.
   
The airline's shares were among the few losers on the blue-chip DAX index on the Frankfurt stock exchange, slipping by 0.25 percent while the overall market was up 1.19 percent.
   
On Zurich's SMI, Roche's stock rose 0.59 percent while the overall index was up 0.56 percent.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Richemont confirms financial losses cut profit
Photo: Richemont

Richemont confirms financial losses cut profit

Geneva-based Richemont, the world's second largest luxury goods group, confirmed on Friday that its annual net profit fell by more than a third due to losses on financial instruments. READ  

Top court refuses to accept child's two fathers
Photo: Bundesgericht

Top court refuses to accept child's two fathers

Switzerland’s highest court has refused to recognize two Swiss gay men as the legitimate fathers of a four-year-old child who was born to a surrogate mother in the US. READ  

Swiss fail Eurovision Song Contest semifinals
Mélanie René: early exit. Photo: Oscar Alessio/SRF

Swiss fail Eurovision Song Contest semifinals

Switzerland will have to find another “time to shine” after the country’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest failed to sway voters on Thursday night. READ  

Wawrinka knocked out of Geneva Open in shocker
Photo: AFP

Wawrinka knocked out of Geneva Open in shocker

Argentine Frederico Delbonis knocked top seed and local Swiss favourite Stan Wawrinka out of the Geneva Open tennis tournament on Thursday in a shock result. READ  

Macedonian PM's plane makes forced Zurich stop
Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski at a rally in Skopje earlier this week. Photo: Robert Atanasovski/AFP

Macedonian PM's plane makes forced Zurich stop

A jet carrying Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski made an emergency landing in Zurich on Thursday due to technical problems but no one was hurt in the incident, a spokesman said. READ  

Woman's scoop for news site: 'I killed my husband'
Collonge-Bellerive municipal hall, near where ex-husband was murdered. Photo: Roland Zumbühl/Picswiss

Woman's scoop for news site: 'I killed my husband'

A woman visiting the office of Lugano-based news website in the canton of Ticino jolted staff on Thursday by informing them that she had murdered her husband. READ  

Geneva particle smasher sets energy level record
Photo: CERN

Geneva particle smasher sets energy level record

The world's largest particle smasher broke the record for energy levels in a test run after a two-year upgrade, the Geneva-based European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced on Thursday. READ  

Four Swiss bathing areas 'unfit' for swimmers
Photo: Sempachseetri

Four Swiss bathing areas 'unfit' for swimmers

Three beaches in Lausanne by the shores of Lake Geneva and an area of the Rhine River in Kaiseraugst in the canton of Aargau have water unfit for swimming, a new European Environment Agency (EEA) study says. READ  

Wawrinka advances to Geneva Open quarters
Photo: AFP

Wawrinka advances to Geneva Open quarters

Top seed Stan Wawrinka continued to fine-tune his French Open preparations with a three-set win over Czech Lukas Rosol on Wednesday to make the last-eight at the Geneva Open tennis tournament. READ  

Monsanto spells out bid for Syngenta takeover
Syngenta sign at the company's Les Barges test site, near Vouvry in the canton of Valais. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Monsanto spells out bid for Syngenta takeover

US agriculture and seed giant Monsanto said Wednesday that it would sell Syngenta's seeds and traits assets to address regulatory concerns if the Swiss company accepts its takeover offer. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swiss Federal Railways rely on sheep to 'mow' grass alongside tracks
Sport
Switzerland to host 2020 international ice hockey tourney
Business & Money
I never learned German: departing Credit Suisse CEO's regret
Sport
International tennis museum in US showcases Federer hologram
National
Inequality greater than most Swiss think: opinion poll for unions
National
Shooting in Switzerland leaves five dead in domestic drama near Zurich
National
Swiss Federal Railways tackle taboo subject of suicide in bid to cut deaths
National
German expats in Switzerland face discrimination: report
Travel
High prices blunt Swiss tourism's cutting edge: World Economic Forum
Business & Money
Ticked off Rolex slaps Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on wrist
National
Shock and humour drive police safety video warning over 'inattention'
National
Switzerland ranks 13th best place in world for mothers: NGO
Education
Times Higher Education rates EPFL world's top 'young university'
Travel
Switzerland's trains again ranked best for performance in Europe
National
Ten percent of Swiss farmers fail to meet government regulations
National
Municipality of Zermatt bans taking selfies with Saint Bernard dogs
Business & Money
Salt (formerly Orange) aims to shake up Switzerland's mobile market
National
Switzerland tops 2015 world 'happiness index' developed by UN
National
New book: Swiss architect Le Corbusier was 'out-and-out fascist'
Features
Tasty street food catches on in biggest Swiss cities
Sport
Invasion of frogs forces early end to Zurich football game
National
New ranking downgrades the 'power' of Switzerland's passport
Features
Swiss hotel management schools serve up 'world best' recipe
National
Segways win approval for operation on Swiss bicycle lanes
National
Joan Baez and Sting in lineup for this summer's Paléo music festival
National
Second CERN club skier dies from avalanche in Valais Alps
Sport
Lausanne and IOC celebrate a century of Olympism
National
Bern waters down criteria for beer that can be labelled ‘Swiss’
National
Internet giant Google named most attractive employer in Switzerland
National
VIDEO: Swiss television satire clip ridicules Americans on ski slopes
National
Immigration remains top election issue for Swiss voters: opinion poll
National
Environmental bureau ranks Zurich first among Europe's 'sootfree cities'
National
Zurich crane-climbing stunt by teenager flags 'roofer' concerns
Education
THE ranks EPFL among seven 'fastest rising young universities'
Features
Mobility takes off as young urban Swiss catch the car-sharing bug
Business & Money
Ethical Coffee Company aims to beat Nespresso in home market
National
Use of temporary staffing continues to rise in Switzerland
Features
Six steps for expats to get along better with the Swiss
National
Swiss foreign affairs minister touted as candidate for top UN job
National
One of Switzerland's most celebrated artists dies in Lucerne at 106
Business & Money
Swiss luxury brand Tag Heuer announces plans for smartwatch
National
Valais lights up 13 mountain peaks for 200th anniversary
Business & Money
Switzerland to avoid recession this year: Credit Suisse forecast
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,454
jobs available