The German group "SMS", which owns Luxembourg-based machinery and blast furnace company Paul Wurth, announced on Friday that Rassel would take up a position on the board after stepping down as CEO.

Rassel was removed from his position as managing director at Paul Wurth some weeks ago. Now, the company's parent group has clarified the reason for Rassel's move, as he will now hold different responsibilities within the business.

Rassel is to take care of the group's subsidiaries, while pushing initiatives on synthetic fuels. He will also take charge of the company's collaboration with the University of Luxembourg.

German national André Schneider, who is European director of the SMS group, has been appointed the new head of Paul Wurth.

The LCGB and OGBL unions initially reacted rather critically when the changes in personnel were announced, and demanded explanations from German management.

The Luxembourg government had sold the shares it held in the Paul Wurth company to SMS two years ago, thus making the German group the sole shareholder of the business.