Ludger Bartels will become the new CEO at the Röchling plastics specialist. As of June 1, 2016, he will take over the position of CEO from Georg Duffner, who is retiring after many successful years as planned on May 31. Bartels, 62, has worked at the Röchling Group for almost 40 years and, since 2007, has been the second member of the Executive Board together with Duffner. "With him, we will have a highly skilled CEO in senior management with decades of experience, who will continue to pursue our Company's successful course," said Johannes Freiherr von Salmuth, Chairman of the Advisory Board and the Shareholder Board of the Röchling Group.
Von Salmuth thanked the departing CEO Georg Duffner for his very successful work. He assumed control of the Röchling Group in 2001 at a challenging time and had the vision to successfully transform the company from a conglomerate into a worldwide leading plastics specialist, according to von Salmuth. Under his aegis, Röchling consistently focused on the core business. Access was gained to new regional and industrial markets, through targeted investments and corporate acquisitions in the plastics sector. Despite all the restructurings, he succeeded in remaining faithful to the family company's motto - "Continuity Amid Change." "We owe Georg Duffner our utmost thanks. He achieved or even surpassed all of the goals he set for himself and is handing over a strategically well positioned and financially sound company," von Salmuth continued.
On May 31, the Duffner era will come to an end at Röchling, an era that will go down in the almost 200-year history of the family Company as one of the most successful. The unusually high regard the Röchling family has for Georg Duffner's work is also demonstrated by the fact that the Shareholder Board has already decided to nominate him for election to the Advisory Board at the shareholders' meeting in the summer.
Furthermore, Georg Duffner's departure has been taken as an occasion to reorganize the lead company and Executive Board of the Röchling Group.
The designated CEO Ludger Bartels, who studied materials engineering, began his career at today's Röchling Engineering Plastics SE in 1977. He worked there in various capacities, including as head of development and quality assurance, extrusion, the thermoplastics profit center, and the composites profit center. In 1996, he joined the Executive Board of the Röchling Engineering Plastics Group and in 1999, he became its Chairman. Since 2003, Mr. Bartels has also served as CEO of Röchling Sustaplast SE. In 2007, he was appointed to the Executive Board of the Röchling Group, where he was responsible for the High-Performance Plastics division. "Ludger Bartels knows our business like no one else and is therefore the ideal choice for us to fill the position," von Salmuth said.
Effective immediately, the Röchling Group has reorganized its divisions. Along with the existing Automotive division, the previously second division of "High-Performance Plastics" is being split into "Industrial" and "Medical" in order to highlight the strategic importance of the still small medical segment. In the future, the new CEO Ludger Bartels will be responsible for the Medical division. Röchling wants to increase sales to EUR 250 million in this division by 2020. Of this, over EUR 100 million will be achieved through the acquisition of more companies.
Changes at the Röchling Group