A New Leader at Heidelberg
Effective from Sept. 1, 2012, Dr. Gerold Linzbach will be the CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. Current CEO Bernhard Schreier will not be extending his management contract and will be leaving the company at the end of 2012. Schreier is handing over the company’s chairmanship after almost 13 years.
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 2012/2013.
The company’s 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 board unanimously appointed Dr. Linzbach (56).
“I would like to thank Bernhard Schreier for his achievements as Heidelberg CEO,” said Robert J. Koehler, chairman of the supervisory board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. “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,” Koehler added.
Dr. Linzbach obtained a degree in chemistry and added a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Dortmund in 1985. Having started his career as the head of a research group at the DECHEMA Institute in Frankfurt, he joined McKinsey in 1988 where he was in charge of a variety of projects, primarily in the process industry.
In 1991, Dr. Linzbach became a member of Hoechst AG’s corporate planning team and subsequently took charge of this department. During this period, he was part of the “Aufbruch 94” team that laid the foundations for Hoechst AG’s new corporate structure. Four years later, he assumed the position of global CEO of a business unit responsible for the company’s fibers operations (Trevira GmbH).
In 1999, Dr. Linzbach played a leading role in founding Aventis and went on to become global CEO and President of the Celanese Acetate Group based in the United States until 2003. From 2003 to 2005, he was responsible for the textile fibers division INVISTA, also in the United States.
On March 1, 2005, Dr. Linzbach was appointed chairman and CEO of Symrise AG in Holzminden, Germany. He successfully led it onto the stock market at the end of 2006 and onto the MDAX in March 2007. Dr. Linzbach left the company for personal reasons at the end of June 2009. He was subsequently appointed CEO and member of the management board of D+S Europe and its successor companies in Hamburg.