23 April 2001 14:56 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Raisio has replaced chief executive Lasse Kurkilahti after a boardroom row over future development of the Finnish food and paper chemicals group.
In a statement on Monday which did little to disguise the depth of disagreement between Kurkilahti and his fellow directors, Raisio said deputy chief executive Rabbe Klemets had been appointed in his place by the company's supervisory board.
Kurkilahti has resigned with immediate effect "due to irreconcilable differences between the CEO and the board of directors regarding the development of the group", Raisio said. The decision was reached by mutual agreement, it added.
Klemets has been executive vice president of the Benecol division since December 1999 and deputy group CEO since June last year.
There was no-one immediately available at Raisio to enlarge upon the boardroom disagreements or comment on Kurkilahti's severance terms.
However, Vesa Lammela, chairman of the supervisory board, said in the statement that a smooth working relationship between the board of directors and the management was essential for the long-term development of the company.
"We must look to the future and focus on improving the profitability and solidity of the company, and safeguarding the foundation for running a successful business," Lammela said.
Raisio must be provided with a clear strategy which is endorsed by the board of directors and to which everyone is committed in order to take the company forward in consensus and with determination, Lammela added.
In February Raisio blamed costs associated with its Benecol cholesterol-cutting margarine division for a huge increase in 2000 group pre-tax losses. They soared to Euro46.5m ($42.6m at prevailing exchange rates) from Euro2.1m for 1999.
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