Cement multinational CEO resigns after Syria deals

Cement group LafargeHolcim says its chief executive officer is resigning, weeks after the multinational acknowledged that its branch in northern Syria had struck deals with armed groups so that it could keep business there running.

The resignation of Eric Olsen is effective July 15, the company said Monday. The statement did not mention the internal investigation into the Syria branch, which the company in March acknowledged funneled money to armed groups in 2013 and 2014 to guarantee safe passage for employees and supply its plant.

French NGO Sherpa filed a complaint accusing the company of maintaining commercial relations with the Islamic State group.

Under Olsen's leadership, Lafarge merged with Swiss company Holcim in 2015 to create LafargeHolcim, the world's largest cement maker. Lafarge's Syrian plant stopped operating in September 2014.