CEMENT producer, Lafarge Zimbabwe chief executive Siame Kaulule has left his position, a year after assuming the post, NewsDay Business has established.

Kaulule joined the company from Lafarge Holcim in the United Kingdom where he was general manager for retail.

He succeeded Amal Naiel, who spent five years in the post.

According to a memo gleaned by NewsDay Business, Kaulule said he had left Zimbabwe to assume a different post at the Lafarge group’s operations in South Africa.

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“I would like to share with you some significant development in the last few days. I have been asked by the group to take on the leadership of our cement and Ash Resources business in South Africa.

“While I did not expect to be communicating this type of news this soon in my tenure at Manresa, I have to accept the re-assignment knowing that it is a testament to the work that we have done together,” a communique from Kaulule read.

He gave credit to the staff for enduring the tough business operating environment in the country.

“I would have loved to share this news with you in person, but my travel schedule and how quickly things have moved did not make this possible. I am saddened to be sharing this bitter sweet moment with you via email, but we will have the chance to have a face-to-face discussion once I return,” he said.

“Looking back on my time in Zimbabwe, we have confronted seemingly insurmountable business challenges daily. I have seen our teams navigate these hurdles and mountains in ways that have not only made Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe a better company, but also made all of us far stronger.”

Efforts to get a comment from Lafarge yesterday were futile as questions emailed to the company had not been responded to at the time of going to print.

Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is a unit of dual-listed Swiss-based Lafarge Holcim and trades its shares on the Euronext and Swiss stock exchanges.

The company swung to profitability in the six months to June 2019, recording a ZWL$2,9 million profit in the reviewed period from a ZWL$1,8 million loss in the same period prior year.

Revenue for the period went up 169% to ZWL$87,5 million in the period under review from ZWL$32,5 million in the same period in 2018.