Lonza CEO Richard Ridinger leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost seven years in the position
  • Accolades, praise, thanks and good wishes for Ridinger
  • Marc Funk taking over
  • Ridinger spoke at length and said 133 words

(exechange) — Basel, Switzerland, January 30, 2019 — Richard Ridinger, chief executive of Lonza, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Lonza Group Ltd in a news release on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Richard Ridinger leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the Swiss multinational, chemicals and biotechnology company after almost seven years in the role, effective March 1, 2019.

Richard Ridinger’s move comes nine months after Albert M. Baehny took over as Chairman of Lonza Group Ltd.

Ridinger leaves the company effective April 30, 2019.

Richard Ridinger’s duties will be taken over by Marc Funk, currently Chief Operating Officer of the Pharma & Biotech division of Lonza Group Ltd.

No reason given

In the announcement, Lonza did not explicitly explain the reason for Richard Ridinger’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information regarding Richard Ridinger’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.


Lonza said: “Richard Ridinger, CEO, has decided to retire from the company after seven successful years.”

Share price increase since April 2018

The announcement follows an increase in Lonza Group Ltd’s share price of 27 percent since April 2018.

Chaired by Albert M. Baehny

Lonza Group Ltd is chaired by Albert M. Baehny.

In the position of CEO since 2012

Richard Ridinger has been Lonza’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Executive Committee since May 2012.

He has overseen a period of rapid change as Lonza transformed into a market-oriented company that has a strategic focus on the healthcare continuum.

Before he joined Lonza, Ridinger served as a member of the Management Board of Cognis until the transition to BASF in 2011.

At Cognis he was the Executive Vice President Care Chemicals from 2006 to 2010.

From 2002 to 2006, Richard was the Strategic Business Unit Head of Cognis – Care Chemicals and a member of the Executive Committee of Cognis.

He also served as Vice President of the company’s global business for Care Chemicals – Specialties from 2000 to 2002.

Ridinger held various positions of increasing responsibility at Henkel KGaA/Cognis GmbH from 1986 to 2000.

Among those diverse roles, he was the director of the global Skin Care Ingredients business and led the company’s Oleochemical Derivatives Productions organization.

Ridinger holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.

Since October 2016 Ridinger has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for Firmenich International SA, a Switzerland-based fragrance and flavor company.

To ensure a seamless transition of leadership, Richard Ridinger will remain with the company until the end of April and will then be available to Lonza in an advisory capacity until the end of 2019.

Going forward, he intends to build a portfolio of non-executive positions in various companies.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Lonza and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 5.2019 ($).