Tuesday 19 September 2017

Mexican cement tycoon Lorenzo Zambrano dies aged 70

Lorenzo Zambrano, who transformed Mexican cement firm Cemex from a regional producer into a global player, has died in Spain. He was 70.

Mr Zambrano died in Madrid of natural causes, the company said without giving other details.

Trained as an engineer, Mr Zambrano was considered one of the most important businessmen in Mexico.

He became Cemex's chief executive officer in 1985. A decade later he added the title of chairman of the board of directors.

With Mr Zambrano at the helm, the Monterrey-based company expanded beyond Mexico and now has operations in 50 countries on five continents.

Cemex has been the world's largest supplier of cement, and possibly the biggest building materials supplier, since 2007, when it won a controlling stake in Australia's Rinker Group.

The company said in a statement "the operation and administration of the group will continue to develop normally" and that in the coming days the board of directors would meet to decide how to proceed.

"My condolences to the family and friends of Mr Lorenzo Zambrano, a man of great commitment and love for Mexico," President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a message on his Twitter account.

He noted that Mr Zambrano "made @CEMEX the number one cement producer in the world".

Mr Zambrano studied mechanical engineering at ITESM, a private university in Monterrey, his hometown, and he earned an MBA at Stanford University, California.

Cemex produces and sells cement, concrete and other construction materials, with about 43,000 employees worldwide.

It reported annual revenue of more than 15 billion US dollars (£8.9 billion) in 2013.

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