Air Liquide Japan has announced the appointment of Koshi Kitadai as the Chairman of Air Liquide Japan, effective 1st July 2011, and Etienne Lepoutre as its President and CEO, effective 15th July 2011.

Kitadai, a citizen of Japan, brings a wealth of industrial experience acquired at Panasonic Corporation both in Japan and overseas and is retiring from his position as Executive Vice-President of the corporation.

According to an Air Liquide statement, Kitadai replaces Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President of Air Liquide in charge of Asia Pacific, who had held the post in the interim three months since Toyofumi Shimohata’s retirement as Chairman of the Board.

Lepoutre meanwhile, a French citizen, joined Air Liquide in 1986 and has extensive experience in business development, operations and strategic management. Prior to this appointment, he was COO for Air Liquide’s American Industrial Merchant and Electronics business lines, as well as Vice President for the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico regions.

Lepoutre succeeds Francois Jackow, who had been President and CEO of Air Liquide Japan since 2007 and will now take a new assignment within the group.