Buechele to succeed Reitzle as Linde CEO

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Sep 27, 2013 09:05 AM EDT

According to the company's statement, Linde AG appointed Wolfgang Buechele as its new chief executive officer for next year. Buechele was a former BASF SE executive and would be the successor of current CEO Wolfgang Reitzle. Buechele is currently sitting as CEO of Kemira Ojy, which is the largest supplier of water-treatment chemicals in all of Europe.

Buechele would reportedly have some tough shoes to fill. Reitzle had turned the Munich, Germany-based company from an equipment firm to a worldwide specialist in gases and engineering. Reitzle's leadership had tripled Linde's share price in his ten-year period as chief executive. Since his leadership, Reitzle sold assets that were underperforming and had bought larger rival BOC Group Plc back in 2006. Germany benchmark DAX stock index was seen less than doubled during Reitzle's time as CEO.

Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg analyst Ulle Worner said over the phone, "It is very hard to follow Reitzle. He's made them into a focussed gas company, taken them away from being a diversified industrial player. They're now a world leader." However, Worner recommended buying shares of the German company. 

Buechele would start his new job on May 1 next year, according to the company statement. 

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