The Linde Group has issued two significant executive level departures in the last hour, including the immediate exit of Chief Financial Officer Georg Denoke and the impending end of Dr. Wolfgang Büchele’s role as CEO of Linde AG.

Denoke leaves his post with immediate effect, with his duties in the finance department to be assumed on an interim basis by Dr. Sven Schneider, to date the Head of Group Treasury.

Dr, Büchele, meanwhile, will walk away from the group next year having declared to the Supervisory Board of Linde AG that he is not available for a second term. His tenure will come to an end in April 2017, after the Board accepted his decision ‘with much regret’.

The announcements were made via disclosures according to Article 17 MAR, transmitted by DGAP – a service of EQS Group AG.

The news comes in the wake of yesterday’s announcement from both parties that merger talks between Praxair, Inc. and The Linde Group had terminated having failed to reach a mutual understanding.

Reports have been rife since that cultural differences may have been behind the breakdown in discussions, though no official reason was given. Today’s news of departures at the highest level of the Linde hierarchy will likely fuel further speculation over the termination of talks.