Heidelberg chief executive Bernhard Schreier will step down at the end of this year after 13 years at the helm of the world's largest press manufacturer.
Schreier, who joined Heidelberg in 1975, will not be extending his current management contract, which is due to expire in mid-2013, and will leave following a handover period in the final quarter.
He will be replaced by Dr Gerold Linzbach, a former chief executive of D+S Europe who is new to the print industry. Dr Linzbach, who has a PhD in chemical engineering, will take up the role of chief executive from 1 September 2012.
In a statement, the company said: "Over recent months, key steps have been taken to set the company's new strategic course and a start has been made on putting this into practice to return Heidelberg to sustained profitable growth.
"What's more, the industry trade show Drupa has led to the highest quarterly incoming orders in four years for the first quarter of financial year 2012/13. The Supervisory Board and Schreier himself feel now is the right time to make the change in order to create new impetus at the very top of the company.
"The Supervisory Board unanimously appointed Dr Gerold Linzbach, 56, as Heidelberg CEO with effect from September 1, 2012. Schreier will ensure the transition goes smoothly and will accompany the handover process up till the end of the year."
Robert Koehler, chairman of the Supervisory Board, thanked Schreier for his achievements as chief executive, adding: "In a career spanning a total of 37 years, 13 of them as CEO, he has truly made his mark on the company and has succeeded in guiding it through two major global economic crises and structural upheaval in the printing industry.
"Particularly in very difficult recent times, he has helped transform Heidelberg from a traditional press manufacturer into a solution and service provider in the print media industry. Heidelberg is a global market leader and is renowned worldwide for its cutting-edge technology and customer proximity.
"In Dr Gerold Linzbach, we are delighted to have found a successor with international experience to press ahead with the company's strategic reorientation and ensure its return to profitability. Dr Linzbach has many years of management and capital market expertise, which will help pave the way for a successful future at Heidelberg."
This article originally appeared at printweek.com
10 May 2013, Vol VI Issue 1
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