UPDATE 1-K+S chairman backs CEO after report of pressure to replace him

Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:41am EDT
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* Board members pressing for replacement of CEO-Bilanz

* Lohr could be named CEO before May 11 AGM-Bilanz

* Chairman says board is very satisfied with Steiner

* Chairman says board to decide succession in due course (Releads with Chairman backing CEO, background on waste water disposal, prosecutor's charges)

FRANKFURT, March 30 (Reuters) - Germany's K+S is happy with Norbert Steiner as chief executive, the potash and salt mining group's chairman said in response to a report that there was board pressure to replace him with the K+S finance chief.

German magazine Bilanz reported on Wednesday that "influential supervisory board members" at K+S were pressing for Chief Financial Officer Burkhard Lohr to be made CEO before its May 11 AGM because they were dissatisfied with the business.

"The board is very satisfied with the work of Mr Steiner," supervisory board Chairman Ralf Bethke said in a statement in response to the report, which cited unnamed company sources.

Bethke said the board had been looking intensively at the succession plan for Steiner, whose contract runs out after the 2017 annual shareholder meeting, and that it would publish its decision in due course.

K+S warned earlier this month of a significant drop in operating profit, citing lower potash prices and output restrictions imposed by environmental regulators.   Continued...