13 April 2020 Business

Koenig & Bauer shapes board for future

German press manufacturer has increased the size of its management board with new chief operating officer and chief digital officer roles.

Koenig & Bauer has brought in two new directors, one as a replacement and the other to oversee its production sites in Radebeul, Würzburg and Frankenthal.

Michael Ulverich is joining the company as chief operating officer, the first to occupy this role, at a time when production faces the greatest challenges of recent times. Koenig & Bauer, as a supplier of presses for packaging, has been allowed to continue in production and all sites are open along with spares shipped overnight and engineers on the road. The company’s Flexotecnica subsidiary in Italy has also been allowed to operate for the same reasons during the lock down in that country.

Prior to joining Koenig & Bauer Ulverich worked for Krauss Maffei Wegmann, the company that produces the Leopard tank and railway engines where he was managing director and chief operating officer.

Dr Stephen Kimmich joins the management board as as chief finance officer. He joins the press manufacture from Joyson Safety Systems where he was CFO for the company’s EMEA operations. Kimmich replaces Dr Mathias Dähn who is leaving the company after six years, having been in control as Koenig & Bauer recovered from the finance crisis.

At the same time, Ralf Sammeck is adding the role of chief digital officer to existing responsibilities over sheetfed. The new role includes “group wide coordination of the digital transformation” in the business. This includes the roll out of a company wide SAP system to track everything in the business. This project is expected to be completed in 2021.

The company has issued statements to reassure people that using banknotes is safe, responding to ‘fake news’ associated with Covid-19. The European Bank, it says, has stated “that there is no evidence of coronavirus transmission via banknotes”.

CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann says that the company has been spared the lock down because of its association with food: "The value of packaging is thus acknowledged. Board packaging, folding cartons, plastic films, bottles, cans and the necessary labelling ensure that food and pharmaceutical products reach the end user efficiently and in hygienic condition. Koenig & Bauer takes this responsibility very seriously and is fully aware that no interruption of these supply chains can be allowed. Our production, which is located exclusively in Europe, is running!”

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Koenig & Bauer has named two new board members, one taking charge of finance and another as its first COO, as well as announcing the addition of chief digital officer to Ralf Sammeck's current responsibilities.

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