• Christian Kullmann to succeed Klaus Engel in May
• Harald Schwager to become deputy chief executive officer
• COO function to be dropped
Essen. Klaus Engel (60), Chairman of Evonik's Executive Board, is to hand over to his designated successor Christian Kullmann (47). Engel will be leaving the company at the end of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 23, 2017.
Mr. Kullmann will then take over as chairman. The Supervisory Board announced these resolutions after its meeting today. “We thank Mr. Engel for his service to the company and for his outstanding achievements,” said Werner Müller, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. “Mr. Engel has transformed Evonik from a conglomerate to a company focused on chemicals, successfully listed it on the stock market, and developed it into a leading specialty chemicals company with outstanding prospects.” Müller specifically mentioned the acquisition of the Air Products specialty additives business, which Engel achieved in May 2016. Engel was originally appointed to the Board of Management of what was then Degussa in 2007, becoming Chairman in 2009.
He has worked closely with Christian Kullmann for many years. “Having spent more than three decades in fascinating managerial roles in the chemical industry, Evonik's tenth anniversary seems to me to be an appropriate time to ensure a smooth transition and hand over a well-tilled field to my successor,” said Engel. “The goal of transforming Evonik into a listed, world-leading specialty chemicals group has been achieved. I am grateful that I was able to play a key part in shaping the development of this company over the past ten years.”
Christian Kullmann has worked for the company for 14 years and was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board in May 2016. His responsibilities include strategy, M&A, Legal, Communications and Investor Relations. “I sincerely thank Mr. Engel for our trustful collaboration,” said Kullmann. “I look forward to taking on this new role and thank the Supervisory Board for its confidence in me.”
Harald Schwager (56) will be joining Evonik on September 1 as the new Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, with responsibility for chemicals and innovation. Schwager is a chemist and a member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, which he will be leaving in May. “Mr. Schwager and I share the same views on how to lead and drive forward an international specialty chemicals group,” said Kullmann. “I and my colleagues on the Executive Board are looking forward to working with him.”
Ralph Sven Kaufmann (51), Chief Operating Officer of Evonik, will be leaving the company by mutual and amicable agreement on June 30, 2017, before the scheduled end of his term of office. “Mr. Kaufmann successfully supported the transition of the newly established segments to independent operating units,” said Werner Müller. “In addition, he played a key role in the restructuring of the Performance Materials segment and the integration of the new Air Products business. We thank him for his successful work.” The position of Chief Operating Office on the Executive Board will not be filled.
Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders
in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 35,000 employees. In fiscal 2016 the enterprise generated sales of around €12.7 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.165 billion.
Evonik Industries has been producing specialty chemical products in the Greater China region (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) since the late 1970’s; with wide-ranging trading relations already in place prior to this in the region. Evonik regards Greater China as one of the driving forces of the global economy and we consequently endeavor to grow our business in the region. The company now has around 3,000 employees in the Greater China region, the regional sales reached about €1.3 billion in 2016.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.