Foster Wheeler AG has announced that J Kent Masters will become the company’s new CEO. The change will be effective from 1st October 2011 and it is predicted that Masters will stand for election to the company’s board of directors as soon as practicable after he takes office.

Umberto della Sala will continue to serve as Interim CEO until 30th September, after which, he will resume his original positions as President, COO and CEO of the group’s Global Engineering and Construction Group, alongside his seat on the board of directors.

According to Raymond Milchovich, Non-executive Chairman of the Board of Foster Wheeler AG, the recent appointment signifies a positive step for the Swiss firm. He commented, “Kent has significant operating, technical and contracting experience - and a demonstrable track record of successfully leading complex global organisations. Moreover, we believe that Kent's leadership approach is a perfect fit with the cultural norms of Foster Wheeler. I know I speak for the entire board when I say that we have full confidence in Kent to drive the company to reach its full potential.$quot;

Milchovich added, “With Umberto under contract through 2013 and having spent considerable time with Kent and Umberto together, I believe that they will be an excellent team. Furthermore, I have assured both Kent and the board that I will remain available to them in the event I can help with the transition in any way.$quot;

Masters accepted the appointment after working for The Linde Group, where he served as a member of the Executive Board with responsibility for the operating segments Americas, the Global Business Unit Healthcare and the Business Area Merchant & Packaged Gases. Prior to his role at Linde, Masters was the Chief Executive of Industrial and Special Products with The BOC Group.

In just over an hour (4pm CET), Foster Wheeler will hold a conference call to discuss the management announcement.