Van Wijnen has been named CEO of PPC, South Africa’s biggest cement maker announced recently.
Van Wijnen had worked at the biggest cement producer in the world for 17 years; he was an engineer and had also been involved in some major deals for LafargeHolcim.
“He has been with Holcim, now LafargeHolcim, for 17 years during which time he held various senior leadership roles across the group. As CEO of the Philippine business, a public company, much the same size as PPC, he successfully dealt with similar challenges that PPC is facing. During his time Holcim Philippines successfully implemented a new retail business model and a growth strategy to best serve customers and increase profitability.
“An Industrial Engineering graduate from Twente University, in the Netherlands, van Wijnen was CEO of certain of Holcim’s Eastern European businesses between 2005 and 2010 and also acted as CEO of Holcim’s global trading business before the Lafarge Holcim merger,” said Moleketi.
“Having done some work for Holcim in South Africa before the company moved its operations out of the region, he is familiar with the country,” he said.
According to Moleketi, he said van Wijnen has signed a four-year contract and was expected to take over from Claassen as soon as he has received a work permit. He will be tasked with building and developing the executive team and jointly accelerating the process of turning PPC into a high-performance organization that offers superior products and solutions to customers throughout its leading positions across Africa.
Also commenting on his appointment, Van Wijnen said: “I am excited and honoured to have been appointed into this executive role at such iconic company that PPC is. PPC is currently undergoing strategic projects to ensure the long-term sustainability and viability of the Group, and I have been working on such initiatives for the past decade. I am looking forward to starting my new role as CEO which will enable me to focus on the value and growth strategy of the Group. Our future will be defined by how well we deliver on our strategy of driving sustainable growth and maximising opportunities in order to realise the ambitions of our company and take us to the next level of success.”
The search for a new CEO to succeed Johan Claassen started last November, when he announced that he was taking early retirement, PPC chairperson Jabu Moleketi said recently. “As soon as Johan decided to retire, the board began a process to identify a global experienced and qualified candidate in leading cement companies in cyclical downturns and challenging markets,” he added.
Claassen, who was appointed CEO in February last year after serving several months as the interim CEO, had been part of PPC’s executive team since January 2013.
“We are pleased to have secured Roland, a Dutch national, whose listed company experience and exposure to international global best practice will broaden the management practices of PPC. He has a detailed knowledge of the cement sector. He is up-to-speed with our strategic imperatives and will advance the process without any delays,” Moleketi said.