Long-serving Koenig & Bauer director of marketing and corporate communications Klaus Schmidt retires this month after 28-and-a-half years with the business.
Schmidt had also served on the group’s supervisory board for 23 years up until last year.
Koenig & Bauer president and chief executive Claus Bolza-Schünemann praised Schmidt for his contribution to the company over almost three decades. “Klaus is a workaholic, tells what he thinks, knows the printing industry with all its ups and downs extremely well and is fully dedicated towards Koenig & Bauer,” he told PrintWeek.
Schmidt was appointed in 1989 as head of the group office, by Bolza-Schünemann’s father, Dr Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann. He soon took over responsibilities for the trade press and then marketing and PR. Over the intervening years he has organised many large international trade shows for the group since his first, TPG in Paris, in 1992.
The following year, as well as organising the firm’s presence at Ipex 1993 he split his time between Wurzburg and the Radebeul sheetfed plant to help with the restructuring of the former GDR state printing press manufacturer Planeta.
“This was a tough time but I learned a lot and became a strong fighter for the people and the team spirit within the KBA Group. My nickname at this time was Konzern-Schmidt (ConcernSchmidt),” Schmidt recalled.
He said his all-time favourite show was the millennium Drupa held in 2000 “a fascinating show with an optimistic atmosphere,” and said that last year’s Drupa had been the best since.
Koenig & Bauer UK managing director Andy Pang also thanked Schmidt for his wise counsel. He said: “Klaus has always been extremely supportive. He has helped guide me through the do’s and don’ts of corporate marketing. Klaus has helped with our strategy to provide clear information about KBA and now Koenig & Bauer to the UK market, often adapting ads and campaigns to suit our very specific customer demands in the UK. I will be very sorry to see Klaus retire but wish him all the best and hope he enjoys a long and healthy retirement, he deserves it.”
The press manufacturer’s new divisional structure means Schmidt will not be directly replaced. Dagmar Ringel joined the group at the beginning of the month and will take over Schmidt’s marketing and PR remit with a handover period until the end of October.
She was previously director of public relations at optical systems specialist Carl Zeiss, and prior to that worked in marketing and PR at HP’s commercial printing and imaging group.
Schmidt’s last big project was the firm’s rebrand to Koenig & Bauer and 200th anniversary celebrations last month.