Cement group PPC has appointed Johan Claassen as CEO and executive director with immediate effect.

He was previously the MD for PPC’s South African operations and has served as a member of the group executive team since January 2013.

Claassen had been acting CEO since former CEO Darryll Castle suddenly exited the group in mid-2017.

"Since his appointment as interim CEO, Johan has overseen a number of important milestones, including the successful stabilisation of the business, an improvement in efficiencies following the completion of key projects and the strengthening of PPC’s financial position," PPC chairman Peter Nelson said on Wednesday.

He said Claassen had "developed strong relationships" with a number of important stakeholders, including the PPC board, executive team and the broader management team.

Claassen has demonstrated that he has the right set of skills to effectively lead the company by "balancing operational and financial considerations to leverage our quality assets across the continent, improve our profitability and deliver sustainable long-term returns for our stakeholders," said Nelson.

PPC had also appointed Njombo Lekula, previously MD of Rest of Africa Cement, as MD of South African cement operations. Lekula has been at PPC for 27 years, holding a number of cement manufacturing and executive management roles. Before taking on the role of MD for Rest of Africa Cement in December 2015, he was appointed MD of PPC Zimbabwe in 2013.

During his tenure in Zimbabwe, Lekula oversaw the construction of a new $82m cement milling factory in Harare. Nelson said Lekula had also been instrumental in providing leadership and direction on the operational readiness of PPC’s other projects leading up to the completion and commissioning of the group’s integrated cement plants in Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

Lekula has been replaced by Mokate Ramafoko, who is now MD of Rest of Africa Cement. Ramafoko has more than 23 years’ experience in the cement manufacturing, quality assurance and cement process optimisation industries.

In addition to technical qualifications, all three appointees have further qualifications in business administration.


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