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Spruengli Names New Director After Marriage Furor

December 23, 1992

KILCHBERG, Switzerland (AP) _ Luxury Swiss chocolate maker Lindt and Spruengli on Wednesday named the European chief of Johnson and Johnson as its new director.

Ernst Tanner, 46, will take over next April 1, ending an 8-month vacuum, according to a statement from Lindt and Spruengli headquarters.

The previous director quit in August in fury over the marriage of Rudolf Spruengli, the company’s chairman and chief shareholder, to an alleged member of a mystic American religious movement.

At the time, newspaper reports claimed that 44-year-old Alexandra Gantenbein was only interested in inheriting the wealth of the 72-year-old Spruengli. The reports prompted business concern for the future of the company, although shares subsequently recovered.

Wednesday’s statement said despite the tough international economic climate, Lindt and Spruengli’s performance was expected to strengthen further this year.

Sales exceeded $700 million in 1991.

The statement said Tanner, a Swiss national, worked for the consumer goods giant Johnson and Johnson for 25 years.

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