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Eric Olsen named CEO of LafargeHolcim

France's Lafarge SA and Swiss rival Holcim Ltd. on Thursday confirmed the appointment Eric Olsen, a Lafarge executive, as head of the globe-spanning cement giant their proposed $44 billion merger will create.

Mr. Olsen, who currently serves as Lafarge's Executive Vice-President of Operations, will be the chief executive of LafargeHolcim when the merger is expected to be completed in July. Mr. Olsen has been with Lafarge since 1999, holding a variety of positions in the cement company's North American operations, including chief financial officer.

The agreement removes an obstacle to shareholder approval of the deal after a protracted fight that almost wrecked the union last month. Both companies hold shareholder meetings next month to approve the combination.