Evonik chairman steps down; new deputy CEO joins from BASF

Evonik chairman steps down; new deputy CEO joins from BASF

12:18 PM, 2nd March 2017
Christian Kullmann, will be the next CEO of Evonik Industries. (File photo)
Christian Kullmann, will be the next CEO of Evonik Industries. (File photo)

ESSEN, GERMANY: Evonik Industries has appointed the current deputy chairman of the executive board, Christian Kullmann (47) as its new CEO. He will be succeeding Klaus Engel (60), who is stepping down as chairman, both effective on 23 May.

Christian Kullmann has worked for the company for 14 years and was appointed deputy chairman in May 2016. His responsibilities include strategy, M&A, legal, communications and investor relations.

In addition, the company also announced that Harald Schwager (56), currently a chemist and a member of the board of executive directors of BASF, will be joining Evonik on 1 September as the new Deputy chairman of the executive board, with responsibility for chemicals and innovation.

Ralph Sven Kaufmann (51), chief operating officer (COO) of Evonik, will be leaving the company by mutual and amicable agreement on 30 June, before the scheduled end of his term of office. The position of COO on the executive board will not be filled.

"We thank Engel for his service to the company and for his outstanding achievements. He 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 speciality chemicals company with outstanding prospects," said Werner Muller, chairman of the supervisory board.

"Kaufmann successfully supported the transition of the newly established segments to independent operating units. 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," added Muller.

"I sincerely thank Engel for our trustful collaboration. I look forward to taking on this new role and thank the Supervisory Board for its confidence in me,” said Kullmann.

"Schwager and I share the same views on how to lead and drive forward an international speciality chemicals group. I and my colleagues on the Executive Board are looking forward to working with him," he added.

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