Stefan Messer’s decision to step down as CEO of the Tier One industrial gas giant is surely a surprise to very few, but it will be one tinged with sadness.
This is the third changing of the guard at the top table of the global gases business in the past 12 months. The very top leadership roles of these huge Tier One players seldom change hands very often, and particularly so if those companies are performing well.
Just look at the tenure of Benoît Potier at Air Liquide: 20 years as CEO, 15 years as Chairman. Likewise, Steve Angel was at the helm of Praxair (now Linde) across decades and the same is true of Stefan Messer, who has also had the honour of being third-generation family ownership.
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