Linde Shakeup

Out with the Old

Der Vorstandsvorsitzende der Linde AG, Wolfgang Büchele (l), und Finanzvorstand Georg Denoke sitzen am 16.03.2015 in München (Bayern) bei der Bilanz-Pressekonferenz des Unternehmens nebeneinander. Foto: Tobias Hase/dpa [ Rechtehinweis: (c) dpa ]
Linde CEO Wolfgang Büchele and CFO Georg Denoke will have to go.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Linde hopes the leadership shakeup will allow the company to move forward after a difficult few years, characterized by major disputes at the top.

  • Facts


    • Wolfgang Büchele took over as Linde CEO in May 2014 from the popular Wolfgang Reitzle, who now leads the non-executive supervisory board.
    • A $60-billion merger with U.S. rival Praxair collapsed this week over “governance issues.”
    • Linde lost its spot as the world’s largest industrial gases producer earlier this year after a merger between France’s Air Liquide and U.S. company Airgas.
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The consequences weren’t long coming. Just one day after the collapse of a $60-billion (€53-billion) merger between German industrial gases giant Linde and U.S. rival Praxair, the Munich-based firm has announced a major leadership shakeup.

Linde’s chief financial officer, Georg Denoke, will step down with immediate effect, while Chief Executive Wolfgang Büchele will not have his contract renewed when it runs out in May of 2017, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The two men had been involved in a fierce leadership dispute at the top of the Munich-based firm, which insiders say may have impacted the merger talks. Mr. Denoke was said to be against the merger and had been accused by many within the company of disloyalty.

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