SA’s largest cement producer PPC has confirmed the appointment of Roland van Wijnen, a former LafargeHolcim executive as its new CEO. 

Van Wijnen, who hails from the Netherlands, was originally announced as the new head of PPC at the end of June but had to wait for a valid work permit.

He will replace Johan Claassen on October 1. The search for a CEO to succeed Claassen began in November 2018 when he announced he was taking early retirement. PPC thanked Claassen for his commitment, hard work and loyalty to PPC, its shareholders, employees and customers.

Van Wijnen, who worked for LafargeHolcim for 17 years, has signed a four-year contract with PPC. He was CEO of the listed Philippines business, which is similar in size to PPC.

Van Wijnen was previously CEO of some of Holcim’s Eastern European businesses between 2005 and 2010, and also acted as CEO of Holcim’s global trading business before the LafargeHolcim merger.

PPC’s board said he would be tasked with building and developing its executive team and “accelerating the process of turning PPC into a high-performance organisation that offers superior products and solutions to customers”.

PPC and other local cement producers want the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) to protect the local industry from cheap imports. The industry representative body, the Concrete Institute, said in August that Itac should impose tariffs on cement imports, the bulk of which come from Vietnam and China.