June 14, 2020 / 10:52 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 2-Boral taps industry veteran Todorcevski as top boss

* Todorcevski to review company’s portfolio

* Current CEO Kane to retire in September

* Shares gain 2% in early deals (Adds comments, background, shares)

By Shashwat Awasthi

June 15 (Reuters) - Australia’s Boral Ltd said on Monday it had tasked 30-year industry veteran Zlatko Todorcevski with guiding it through the coronavirus pandemic and an operational overhaul as its new chief executive officer.

Todorcevski takes the top job as Boral grapples with a drop in sales due to the virus outbreak and last year’s bushfires, as well as the fallout from accounting irregularities at its North American window-making business.

He acknowledged in a statement that the company had “not performed in line with the market’s or the board’s expectations” in recent times.

The building materials maker’s shares rose 2% to A$3.55 in early trade, but are still down almost 25% since it disclosed inflated earnings at the North American unit and disappointing first-half results in February.

Chairman Kathryn Fagg said Todorcevski’s priority would be to lay out a “clear operational plan” for the company, including how to manage the existing market conditions and finalising a business and portfolio review.

“His experience in leading major transformations, including business turnarounds, as well as in capital allocation and strategic portfolio management, are critically important for Boral,” she said.

Morgan Stanley analysts estimated last week that Boral’s enterprise value could swell as much as 38% if it were to sell non-core assets and simplify its business.

Boral did not provide details of the review.

Todorcevski will begin on July 1 and succeed Mike Kane, who will leave in September after nearly eight years at the helm.

Todorcevski most recently served as deputy chairman at Adelaide Brighton, and previously enjoyed a 23-year career at BHP. He has also been chief financial officer at logistics firm Brambles Ltd and Oil Search.

He will be paid an annual salary of A$1.9 million ($1.3 million). ($1 = 1.4639 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Stephen Coates)

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