At Wienerberger AG, the world’s largest producer of bricks and the number two in clay roof tiles in Europe, a change in management will take place at mid-year. Wolfgang Reithofer will retire and resign as the CEO of the Group on July 31, 2009. The Supervisory Board of Wienerberger AG accepted this announcement at a meeting today. In the future, Wolfgang Reithofer will be available to support the Supervisory Board in an advisory capacity. Heimo Scheuch, longstanding COO and Deputy CEO since the beginning of this year, will become the new CEO on August 1, 2009.
Wolfgang Reithofer to retire from active professional life after 28 successful years with Wienerberger
On his decision, Wolfgang Reithofer commented, “After more than 28 years with Wienerberger, the last 24 as a member of the Managing Board and CEO since 2001, I have decided to end my active professional career and retire after my 60th birthday. The timing is right – in recent months we have created a foundation that will allow the company to master these difficult times and also taken precautionary measures to safeguard the financial strength of Wienerberger. The Managing Board under Heimo Scheuch now has a solid foundation to make further key decisions in this difficult phase, which will enable Wienerberger to resume its previous growth course after the end of the economic crisis.“
Supervisory Board sets clear signal with appointment of experienced team
Friedrich Kadrnoska, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented, “I would like to thank Wolfgang Reithofer for his service to Wienerberger and the excellent cooperation during the past years. He was responsible for the steady pursuit of the company’s internationalization, with the result that Wienerberger is now the largest producer of bricks in the world. The appointment of Heimo Scheuch as new CEO was a clear decision. The issue of succession planning for the position of CEO has been under discussion for some time by the Supervisory Board and the Personnel and Nominating Committee. This new order reflects the recommendation of the Managing Board and will allow for a smooth transition. Continuity through an experienced and excellent team is important, especially against the backdrop of the current global economic crisis. All the members of the Managing Board have been with Wienerberger for more than ten years.“
Heimo Scheuch to continue close cooperation with board colleagues
Heimo Scheuch, designated CEO of Wienerberger AG added, “In recent months we have taken additional steps to prepare the company for the difficult operating environment. This would not have been possible without the excellent teamwork of the board members, and not without the trust and commitment of our employees. These strengths form a basis that I intend to build on in the future. I look forward to these new challenges and am confident that, together with my colleagues on the board, we will be able to continue the realization of the Group’s strategy and the positive development of business in the future.“
Wienerberger Managing Board will consist of three members in the future
The current position of Heimo Scheuch as COO will remain vacant, and the Managing Board of Wienerberger AG will be comprised of three members in the future. With the reduction of the Managing Board and the resulting additional work for each member, Wienerberger is also setting a clear signal that cost awareness represents a key focus for top management. The new Managing Board will be comprised of Heimo Scheuch as CEO and, as in the past, Johann Windisch as COO and Willy Van Riet as CFO. According to the new distribution of duties, Heimo Scheuch will be responsible for the core ceramic building materials business outside Europe as well as concrete products and Johann Windisch will direct the core ceramic building materials business in Europe. The terms of office for the three members of the Managing Board extend to May 21, 2014.
Wolfgang Reithofer with Wienerberger since 1981 – CEO since 2001
Wolfgang Reithofer, who became a member of the Wienerberger Managing Board in 1985 and Deputy CEO in 1992, has been CEO of the Group since May 2001. His era marked the start of the internationalization of Wienerberger AG through expansion into Germany during 1986. Reithofer played a decisive role in this development during his term as CEO, and Wienerberger now operates production facilities in 26 countries.
Heimo Scheuch COO and since Jan. 1, 2009 Deputy CEO
Heimo Scheuch joined Wienerberger AG in 1996 as an assistant to the Managing Board. He subsequently became a member of the senior management of Terca Bricks in Belgium and the Netherlands in 1997, where he was appointed to CEO in 1999. In May 2001 he was appointed by the Supervisory Board to the Managing Board of Wienerberger AG as COO, with responsibility for North-West Europe and Germany. Heimo Scheuch is also in charge of marketing and product development, where he has played an important role in strengthening the Group’s expertise through the steady expansion and improvement of these activities. Since January 1, 2009 he has also served as Deputy CEO.
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