London - The Vita Group has appointed Joe Menendez, formerly with the Saint Gobain group, as chief executive officer. This role also gives Menendez a seat on Vita's board.
John Oliver will in turn relinquish his executive responsibilities, but will continue on the Vita board as non-executive chairman, as planned when he became interim ceo in late 2006, said Vita's 7 Jan statement.
At Saint-Gobain, US citizen Menendez (pictured) was most recently president of the group's global abrasives business, and has based in France for five of the last seven years. The new Vita ceo, who will be based at Vita's London offices, is fluent in French and Spanish and has extensive experience in managing multicultural global businesses.
Oliver described Menendez as having, "a fantastic track record in leading global industrial businesses; his analytical skills are backed with pragmatism and strong operational experience."
The Vita chairman also commented on the new ceo's "proven leadership experience in creating growth in industrial markets," and said he has shown the ability to lead diverse businesses and quickly move between industries.
"This is an ideal background to drive accelerating profitable growth. Joe is a strong communicator in several languages and will join our outstanding leadership team to achieve ever stronger performance for the Vita Group," Oliver concluded.
In its major polyurethane foam business, Vita recently united its comfort and technical foams operations under the leadership of Peter David. Steve Taylor, who was in charge at Technical Foams, is moving to VitasheetGroup. Taylor takes over from managing director Rob Harris, who is leaving the company during the first quarter.