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Lafarge Appoints New Russia CEO

Lafarge, the French construction materials giant, said Monday that it has appointed André Martin as the new chief executive of its Russian division.

Martin, who had served as senior vice president for the group's industrial customer segment in Paris since last year, replaces Alex de Valukhoff, whose next assignment was not announced immediately.

"To come to Russia and serve as the CEO of Lafarge Russia, is an honor I find humbling and motivating," Martin said in an e-mailed statement.

"Together with the team of professionals we are committed to contributing to the building of better cities," he said.

A Lafarge representative said the company would have no comment on the reason for the departure of de Valukhoff, who had served as the company's Russia CEO since spring 2007.

Martin joined Lafarge in 1995 after working as vice president of Essec Enterprises International, a student association where he carried out market surveys in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for leading companies. At Lafarge, he initially worked in cement mergers and acquisitions before rising to the post of president of Lafarge-Agregate-Betoane in Romania in 1999. He also has worked for Lafarge in North America.

Lafarge, the world's largest cement producer, entered Russia in 1996 and owns and operates two cement plants here: one in Voskresensk in the Moscow region and the other in Korkino in the Chelyabinsk region. In late 2010 it started building a cement plant in the Kaluga region that will have an annual production capacity of 2 million tons after it opens next year.

Lafarge's other assets in Russia include the Novoaleksandrovsky aggregate plant in the Tula region and four aggregates quarries.

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