American CEO resigns after funding ISIS in Syria

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April 25th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

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by James Harmon for FRN

The French-Swiss cement company LafargeHolcim Ltd, which is the largest in the world, has announced the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer, Eric Olsen. Previously, the company was accused of financing the ISIS armed group in Syria.

Olsen is due to leave his position on July 15. He has called his departure a bid to appease “strong tensions” arising from the allegations. The company doesn’t hold Olsen responsible.

Le Monde and Bloomberg reported earlier that the leadership of one of the company’s plants, located to the northeast of Syria, had financed ISIS armed formations in 2012-2014 in order to ensure the safety of the company’s employees and continue their activity. The company’s management paid taxes to IS fighters who had occupied neighboring cities and roads near the enterprise.

LafargeHolcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company, utilised by construction workers, architects and engineers all over the world. Lafarge built a cement plant in Syria which took almost 3 years to construct, at a cost of approximately $680 million. Since the beginning of its operations, the political situation in Syria rapidly deteriorated, posing security and operations challenges to the plant and employees. Circumstances became increasingly worse and ultimately untenable, forcing LafargeHolcim to abandon the premises in September 2014.

The subsequent investigation confirmed the allegations.

“Those responsible for the Syria operations appear to have acted in a manner they believed was in the best interests of the company and its employees. However, the investigation revealed significant errors in judgment that are inconsistent with the applicable code of conduct. “

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