Chemicals company Rhodia's merger with Solvay has resulted in the functions of chairman and CEO being separated.

Gilles Auffret is appointed CEO of Rhodia and a member of Solvay's executive committee. Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, deputy CEO of Solvay, remains chairman of Rhodia.

Auffret is a graduate of France's Ecole Polytechnique and ENA and began his career in 1975 as an auditor at the government accounting office.

In 1982, he joined Pechiney where he had a number of different positions before he became sales director for the aluminium metals department.

In 1999, he joined Rhodia as deputy president and president of the polyamide division. Since 2001, he  has been chief operating officer and one of the four members of Rhodia's executive committee.