UPDATE 3-Mexico's Cemex taps insiders for new CEO, Chairman roles

jueves 15 de mayo de 2014 22:39 GYT

(Adds shareholder, analyst comments)

By Christine Murray and Gabriela Lopez

MONTERREY May 15 (Reuters) - Mexico's Cemex , one of the world's leading cement makers, on Thursday promoted Chief Financial Officer Fernando Gonzalez to chief executive, signaling continuity after the sudden death of Lorenzo Zambrano earlier this week.

Rogelio Zambrano Lozano, 57, board member since 1987 and a cousin of the late CEO, will take over as chairman of the board, Cemex added in a statement, as the company separates the dual roles that Lorenzo Zambrano held.

"Excellent decisions," a top-20 shareholder in Cemex, who asked not to be identified, said on Thursday. "Gonzalez is very good and Zambrano is an excellent board member who will represent the shareholders well."

Questions had swirled this week after Lorenzo Zambrano, who ran the company for three decades, died of natural causes at age 70 in Madrid on Monday, leaving no public succession plan.

He transformed Cemex into a modern multinational and one of Mexico's biggest listed companies with a presence on five continents.

But the company has struggled with large debts and cost-cutting since Zambrano's ill-timed $16 billion takeover of Australian rival Rinker in 2007, when the U.S. housing market was already months into a downturn.

Gonzalez, 59, joined the company in 1989, and was closely involved in and damaged by the Rinker acquisition.   Continuación...