James Hardie has picked president of international operations Jack Truong to succeed Louis Gries as chief executive.

Dr Truong, who currently heads the firm’s Asia Pacific fibre cement business and the Europe building products unit, will become global president and chief operating officer for a six-month transition period as Mr Gries winds down his 13-year spell in charge of the building materials supplier.

A former chief executive of Electrolux North America, Dr Truong has held his current role since April last year.

“Jack offers the ideal combination of commercial expertise, operational excellence, and leadership in order to continue to grow the business and maintain the industry-leading performance, across multiple geographies, established by Louis over a long period,” chairman Michael Hammes said.

Mr Gries, who has been at James Hardie since 1991 and became CEO in 2005, said the establishment of a compensation fund for asbestos victims in 2007 was a highlight of his tenure.


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The fund was established after the original fund James Hardie established for those suffering from exposure to asbestos in its products was found to be underfunded by more than $1 billion, attracting court action by ASIC.

At 1030 AEST on Friday, James Hardie shares were down 21 cents, or 1.0 per cent, at $20.66.