US, Praxair has announced that Dennis H. Reilley, chairman and chief executive officer, will step down as CEO at the end of 2006. Stephen F. Angel will become president and CEO.

Reilley will remain as chairman of the corporation until his retirement on 30 April 2007.

Stephen F. Angel, currently Praxair's president and chief operating officer, will become president and CEO, effective 1 January 2007. Angel will assume the additional title of chairman upon Reilley's retirement.

"Steve Angel's positive impact has been felt throughout Praxair from the moment he joined the company," Reilley said. "He possesses a rare blend of strong operating skills and strategic insight, and has been instrumental in shaping strategies and steering our global business operations in the last few years. I know he will provide Praxair with outstanding leadership in the coming years.

"Praxair is performing well, our order book for the coming years has never been so strong, and we look forward to robust growth," Reilley added. "I am convinced our shareholders' interests will be in excellent hands."

Reilley indicated that his future activities will include serving on the boards of several U.S. corporations as well as two non-profit organizations.