Europe

LafargeHolcim CEO: Departure not related to Syria payments

The CEO of LafargeHolcim, the world's largest cement maker, says his upcoming departure isn't related to fallout from its payments to Syrian armed groups allegedly including the Islamic State group.

Eric Olsen told reporters in a conference call about its first-quarter results Wednesday that in July he's "going to be leaving a group in great shape."

Last week, LafargeHolcim said an internal investigation found Olsen was unaware it had illegally funneled money to the armed groups in 2013 and 2014 to guarantee safe passage for employees and supply its multimillion-dollar Syria plant.

Of his departure, Olsen said: "I would say it's not related" to the payments. He acknowledged "some tensions" at the company recently and his belief "it was in the best interest to turn the page and move on."