Richard Ridinger has been named chief executive officer of Lonza at a board meeting on April 2. Mr. Ridinger will take over the role on May 1. Chairman Rolf Soiron held the job on an interim basis since the end of January, when Stefan Borgas was fired.
“Richard Ridinger could be a person who grew up with Lonza,” said Mr. Soiron. “He is a chemical engineer who knows our industries, customers and products. With Richard Ridinger, we were not only able to attract a man of action and team player, but also a winning personality.”
Mr. Ridinger has held numerous leadership functions at Henkel for 14 years and Cognis for 11 years. Most recently, he was responsible for Care Chemicals, the largest sector at Cognis, with approximately 3,000 employees. During his tenure, sales increased by 60% to $2.3 billion over six years, repositioning the business in the market. Mr. Ridinger’s has experience in process development, production management, and product and marketing management of different product areas, leading global business units, and co-responsibility for leading a worldwide group of the specialty chemicals.
In his new role, Mr. Ridinger has been "mandated with strengthening Lonza’s market position in relevant markets, strengthening competitive capabilities, and productivity improvement in critical areas," according to a Lonza statement. This will include the “Visp Challenge,” which is expected to contribute more than $110 million over three years; Mr. Ridinger will also oversee a review of group-wide structures.
At the same board meeting, Marc Funk, who currently serves as group general counsel and board secretary, was elected to Lonza's Management Committee. Mr. Funk joined Lonza in January 2009. He was previously associate general counsel at Merck Serono.