U.S. markets close in 4 hours 47 minutes

Holcim, Lafarge set to name Olsen as CEO of combined company: source

The logo of Swiss cement maker Holcim is seen on a railway-car in the town of Schlieren near Zurich April 1, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Cement maker Holcim (HOLN.VX) has backed Eric Olsen as chief executive following the Swiss firm's planned merger with French peer Lafarge (LAFP.PA), a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The choice of CEO was one of the main sticking points in the deal. One shareholder, U.S. mutual fund Harris Associates, had held back from approving the deal, set to be voted on by investors at a May 8 meeting, until a decision was reached on who would lead the company.

Olsen, a veteran executive at Paris-based Lafarge, was backed by the boards of both companies after Holcim's board met on Wednesday, the source said, picking an insider to lead what would be the world's largest cement maker.

(Reporting by Oliver Hirt, Writing by Katharina Bart; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)