Heidelberg CEO to step down, successor appointed

Hundsdörfer: “These have been very challenging years here at Heidelberg"
Hundsdörfer: “These have been very challenging years here at Heidelberg"

Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer is to step down at the end of the financial year, and will be succeeded by another industry outsider – a long-standing Zeiss executive – in April 2022.

Hundsdörfer took over in the top job five years ago. He has overseen radical restructuring at the press manufacturer, a refocus on digital business technologies, multiple divestments, and the drastic upheavals caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Heidelberg announced the news in a statement after the close of trading on the German stock exchange on 28 October. 

His successor is Dr Ludwin Monz, who has worked at Germany’s Zeiss Group for more than 25 years. He is currently chairman of Carl Zeiss Meditec. He will take over from Hundsdörfer on 1 April 2022. 

Dr Martin Sonnenschein, chairman of Heidelberg's supervisory board, said: "The supervisory board of Heidelberg would like to thank Rainer Hundsdörfer for his extraordinary commitment as CEO of the company. 

“He has succeeded in steering the company successfully through the Covid-19 crisis, while at the same time setting the course for the company's further strategic development and establishing new business such as e-mobility.”

Heidelberg’s share price descended to a record low of €0.47 (39p) this time last year, but has since recovered to €2.11. The group currently has a market capitalisation of just under €641m.

For the 2021/22 financial year Heidelberg expects sales to increase from €1.91bn to “at least” €2bn, to be back in the black on the bottom line, and to increase EBITDA margins from 5% to 6%-7%.

Hundsdörfer said: “These have been very challenging years here at Heidelberg. We successfully defied the pandemic and strategically realigned Heidelberg through our successful transformation.

“I am proud to be part of the Heidelberg family. I wish my successor Ludwin Monz a good start to the new financial year and continued success.”

Sonnenschein described Monz as “a proven expert in high technology and innovation with capital market experience”. 

Monz (pictured below) has a doctorate in physics and initially joined Zeiss as a scientist. He also has an MBA from the UK’s Henley Management College. 

Monz will take over at the beginning of the new financial year in April 2022

Commenting on his new role, Monz said: "For me, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is a flagship of German mechanical engineering. I see enormous potential for the future in the broad expertise of its employees, its widely branched global organisation, and its long-established brand."

Heidelberg also announced that its contract with CFO Marcus Wassenberg, who joined the business two years ago, would be extended until 2027 “as scheduled”. 

"Under the direct leadership of Marcus Wassenberg, Heidelberg's transformation program has been successfully implemented. Measures introduced are showing measurable success. We look forward to a successful future together," Sonnenschein stated. 

Heidelberg reduced its main board to just two last year, and implemented an executive committee responsible for “cross-product customer solutions and operational functions”.