Cemex CEO Lorenzo Zambrano dies

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Mexico: Lorenzo Zambrano, CEO of Cemex died on 12 May 2014 in Madrid aged 70. There were no immediate details about the cause of death in a statement released by Cemex and there had been no reports of illness. The company added that it will continue to operate normally.

Founded by Zambrano's grandfather more than a century ago, the company started producing cement in the northern city of Monterrey, which later became one of Mexico's industrial hubs. Zambrano was born on 27 March 1944. He joined the company after graduate school in 1968, when he earned his master degree in business administration at Stanford University. By 1985 the board of directors give him full power as CEO. Then, through a series of acquisitions, Zamrano extended Cemex's reach to five continents with operations in 50 countries.

However a US$16bn acquisition of Australian building materials company Rinker in 2007 subjected Cemex to the subprime housing crisis. At the time, Zambrano put a brave face on it. "We've shown that a company that is born in a developing country can compete in the whole world and we want to keep doing it," he said. Cemex spent the following years coping with large debt obligations, struggling to make deals with lenders and trimming costs by outsourcing and restructuring jobs.

Article updated: 14 May 2014

Last modified on 14 May 2014

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