* Merz becomes interim CEO for one year
* Russwurm to take over as chairman
* Former CEO Kerkhoff to leave (Adds executive quotes, context)
FRANKFURT, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Martina Merz, chairwoman of Thyssenkrupp's supervisory board, will take over as the conglomerate's chief executive on Oct. 1, the company said on Monday.
Her appointment as CEO, agreed on unanimously by the group's supervisory board, will be limited to a maximum of 12 months, the group said, adding the contract with current CEO Guido Kerkhoff was terminated by mutual agreement.
The replacement confirms last week's announcement of a wider reshuffle of top management at the crisis-ridden group, which has suffered a dramatic loss of investor confidence amid numerous profit warnings and two botched restructurings.
"We are now looking to the future and continuing our strategic realignment. In the new executive board team we will take the structural decisions now on the agenda with the necessary consistency," Merz said.
Thyssenkrupp's supervisory board also approved the appointment to the management board as of Oct. 1 of Klaus Keysberg, who will also remain head of the Materials Services business unit until a successor has been found.
Kerkhoff, 51, leaves the group after more than 8 years, first as its finance chief before he became CEO in July 2018 following the sudden departure of Heinrich Hiesinger.
"The new executive board team will strengthen the confidence of the capital markets, shareholders, customers and employees in our company. I am absolutely convinced of this," said Siegfried Russwurm, who will take over as chairman as long as Merz is CEO. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Thomas Seythal and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)