After leading Kontron for over 22 years as General Manager, Member of the Management Board and CEO, Ulrich Gehrmann has decided to leave Kontron. The Supervisory Board has appointed Rolf Schwirz (53) as Member of the Management Board effective from December 1st 2012 and as new CEO effective January 1st 2013. The current Chief Executive, Ulrich Gehrmann, will continue to focus on a number of major strategic projects and work closely with Rolf Schwirz to ensure a smooth transition. Ulrich Gehrmann will maintain a close relationship with Kontron as an advisor to the company.
Helmut Krings, chairman of Kontron´s Supervisory Board commented "I would like to thank Ulrich Gehrmann for his commitment and achievements throughout his leadership at Kontron. During his 22 years with the company, including 12 years as a member of the Management Board and 5 years as CEO, he has actively managed the growth of Kontron and shaped the direction of the company. He has navigated the company successfully during the recent international financial crisis and the challenges of a period with extreme market volatility. Despite the difficult environment, Mr Gehrmann has helped Kontron to develop from a classic hardware supplier towards a service-orientated solution provider”. Most recently, Ulrich Gehrmann has streamlined the company’s portfolio with the sale of non-core businesses in Malaysia and Mexico whilst focussing the business on its core activities in Embedded Computer Technology. In response to the changing market environment, he initiated the SHAPE optimization program in order to focus the business model and streamline the organization and processes. “Today Kontron is benefitting from being a market leader with an international presence and an excellent technological base. Ulrich Gehrmann is leaving a company that is in a sound financial position, net cash financed and well placed to participate in the fundamental growth of the market," added Mr. Krings.
Ulrich Gehrmann commented “I have greatly enjoyed my time at Kontron and feel that the company has continued to evolve and adapt positively to the dynamics of the market. I believe that now is the right time to hand-over to a new Chief Executive. I shall work closely with Rolf Schwirz in order to ensure a smooth transition process and to continuing a close relationship with the company. My special thanks go to all the employees and managers for their excellent work and loyalty, especially for their achievements during difficult times. "
Rolf Schwirz has close to twenty years of management experience in multinational technology companies and has successfully implemented a number of optimization programmes during his career. He comes from Fujitsu Technology Solutions, where he as the CEO he was responsible for € 4.5 billion in revenues and more than 14,000 employees. Prior to joining Fujitsu, he held senior international management positions with both SAP and Oracle. He began his career in 1983 as a systems consultant for companies such as Siemens Nixdorf and Siemens AG. Rolf Schwirz has a business management degree from the Fachhochschule Dusseldorf.
Helmut Krings said "We are delighted to have found a very experienced successor in Rolf Schwirz that can take the company forward as it enters a new stage in its development. Rolf Schwirz is bringing with him significant experience in the hardware and software business in Germany and internationally as well as strong customer relationships in both medium sized and large companies. Helmut Krings concluded “I am particularly pleased that we have planned for a smooth transition process and that Ulrich Gehrmann and Rolf Schwirz will work closely over the next month to ensure a thorough handover.
Rolf Schwirz commented “I am excited to be joining Kontron at this stage in the company’s development. The embedded computer market is one of the fastest growing technology markets and Kontron has a significant opportunity to build on its position as a key player in the market”
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