Dr Siegfried Jaschinski, who has been on the board for 12 years and chairman for four, announced his decision at a supervisory board meeting earlier this week. At Jaschinski’s suggestion Heidelberg has appointed Martin Sonnenschein as his replacement.
Sonnenschein is partner and managing director at management consultancy AT Kearney. Prior to that he held senior roles at Daimler-Benz, E-Plus Mobilfunk and Thyssen-Krupp.
“In recent years, Sonnenschein (pictured below) has successfully implemented a variety of major digital transformation programs and industrial growth and innovation projects around the world, focusing on operational improvements and new business models,” Heidelberg said in a statement.
He will join the business three months after Heidelberg's share price sank to a new all-time low, with the world's largest manufacturers of printing equipment grappling with a number of challenges, having also downgraded its profit forecasts earlier this year.
Chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer said the firm regretted Jaschinski’s departure, but respected his wish to resign for personal reasons.
“On behalf of all Heidelberg employees and the entire management board, I would like to thank him. He has played a key role in shaping the development of our company – especially in the difficult years of the financial crisis and the structural changes in the printing industry – with great dedication and great passion for our company.”
He added: “I look forward to working with our new chairman. Thanks to his extensive expertise and management experience, he will play a valuable role in shaping Heidelberg's focus on the requirements of the future.”
Following the departure of CFO Dirk Kaliebe earlier this year, chief technology officer Stephan Plenz is now the longest-serving management board member, and the only main board member who pre-dates the arrivals of chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer and chief digital officer Dr Ulrich Hermann three years ago.
Jaschinski will step down at the end of this month, with Sonnenschein taking over on 1 December.