Air Liquide has revealed that the composition and responsibilities within the company’s management team will be modified from 1st January 2010, following the retirement of Klaus Schmieder.

With Schmieder, Senior Executive Vice President of Air Liquide, having decided to retire effective as of end of 2009, the company has announced a number of changes as a result.

The General Management of Air Liquide will be comprised of Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, together with Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice President, and Jean-Pierre Duprieu, Senior Vice President, who will supervise Europe and the Healthcare activities.

Within the management team, other responsibilities will now be distributed among the members of the group’s Executive Committee, effective as of 1st January 2010.

François Darchis will be Senior Vice President for Engineering and Construction, Research and Technology, and will also be supervising the Industrial Merchant, Electronics and Healthcare World Business Lines.

Jean-Marc de Royere is Senior Vice-President for Asia-Pacific, while Fabienne Lecorvaisier is Group Vice President, Finance and Operations Control. Ron LaBarre is Group Vice President for the Large Industries World Business Line, while Guy Salzgeber holds the position of Vice President, Northern and Central Europe, and Augustin de Roubin is Vice President of Southern and Eastern Europe (including France) and Welding and Diving activities.

Michael J. Graff is Vice-President for Americas, and also supervising Safety and Industrial Systems. Mok Kwong Weng holds the position of Vice President, North-East Asia.

In addition, the company has revealed a number of new appointments, also to be effective 1st January 2010. Pascal Vinet is appointed to Vice President of Healthcare World Business Line and Operations and François Abrial becomes Vice President of Human Resources for the Air Liquide Group.

The new strengthened management team aims to continue the worldwide development strategy of the Air Liquide Group, drawing notably on its ALMA strategic program, and to allow it to tackle the new challenges which lie ahead.

Klaus Schmieder joined the Air Liquide Group in 2004, following the acquisition of certain Messer assets, as Senior Executive Vice-President and member of both the Management Board and the Executive Committee. Having greatly contributed to the development of Air Liquide in Europe and brought to the group his considerable expertise in finance, legal affairs and the group's markets, Schmieder retires at the close of 2009.