Following the announcement in March of this year by Roche Holding's chairman of the board, Franz Humer, that he did not intend to stand for re-election, the company's board said today it would nominate current Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz for the post at its March 4, 2014, shareholder meeting.

Franz' existing contract with Lufthansa, according to Switzerland-based Roche's statement, will not be renewed when it expires on May 31, 2014.

Outgoing Roche Chairman Humer was quoted in the company press release as saying, "I am sure that his [Franz] extensive experience, exceptional global network and strong links to Switzerland will be great assets."


Franz, who currently sits on Roche's 13-member board, said in the company's statement, "As a board member I have had ample opportunity to get to know and admire its strong business performance and corporate culture. Strategically, Roche is in very good shape, and I am looking forward to taking on this opportunity."

In a separate statement posted by Lufthansa, Franz said he was leaving for "professional reasons."

"After a total of nearly 15 years in the Lufthansa Group, this was not an easy decision for me to make," he said. "This is a suitable time for a management handover."

At Lufthansa, headquartered in Cologne, Germany, Franz has headed a global aviation group with some 117,000 personnel. Roche Holding AG, the world's biggest manufacturer of cancer drugs, employs 82,000 people worldwide.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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