Mannheim, 27 August 2021 | Prof. Dr. Hanns-Peter Knaebel, CEO of the Röchling Group and of its Automotive division, will be leaving the Mannheim-based plastics processing company upon his own request on 30 September 2021. The Supervisory Boards of the company have approved the request made by Knaebel. Until a successor is appointed as CEO of the Röchling Group, Advisory Board member Rainer Schulz will be taking over Prof. Knaebel’s responsibilities on an interim basis. Current Automotive CFO, Raphael Wolfram, will be assuming his responsibilities as CEO of Röchling Automotive.
After four years as head of the Röchling Group, Prof. Knaebel wishes to pursue new career opportunities elsewhere for his own private reasons. “I am extremely thankful for the time I’ve spent with the Röchling Group. We’ve made the company fit for its future in recent years – despite some tough conditions at times due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. I would like to thank the shareholders, the Advisory Board and – above all – our many employees worldwide for the excellent working relationship we’ve shared and the trust they have placed in me. I’m confident that the Röchling Group is in a good place as it embarks on the third century of its corporate history,” the 52-year-old emphasizes.
Johannes Freiherr von Salmuth, Chairman of Röchling’s Supervisory Boards, thanked Prof. Knaebel for his service to the Röchling Group. “With his departure, we are losing a much-valued colleague who has rendered outstanding service to the Röchling Group in recent years. The Advisory Board would have preferred to continue its successful working relationship with him going forward but has nevertheless approved the termination of his contract on 30 September 2021. We regret Prof. Knaebel’s decision but understand his motivations. We wish him the best of luck and success in his professional and, above all, his private endeavors,” says von Salmuth.
The 56-year-old Rainer Schulz has many years’ experience of working in all areas of the plastics processing industry. He most recently served the REHAU Group for over 17 years, including eight years as their CEO. Upon concluding his operational career at the end of 2018, Rainer Schulz has been serving on the Advisory Boards of various companies. Alongside his mandate on the Advisory Board of the Röchling Group, he currently has appointments on the Advisory Board of Bühler Holding AG (food technology, Switzerland) and the Advisory Board of RUAG International Holding AG (aerospace technology, Switzerland). In addition, he guided Eisenmann SE (plant and equipment engineering, Germany) through a challenging period of insolvency as a member of its Advisory Board.
Prof. Knaebel’s responsibilities as Chairman of the Executive Board of Röchling Automotive will be assumed by Raphael Wolfram, who has served as CFO of Röchling Automotive since May 2019. From 2007 to 2012, he worked for Goldman Sachs International in Zurich and London, as an analyst in the Securities division and lastly as Head of Marketing & Sales of the Fund Solutions division for the economic region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 2012, Wolfram – who was born in Vienna – served for the Greiner Group in Austria. The international, family-owned company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and processors of plastic and foam. Wolfram initially worked for Greiner as Head of the Corporate Center in Beijing before taking on the role of Managing Director of Greiner Packaging in Istanbul from 2015 until he joined Röchling.
“I am pleased that both gentlemen are willing to take on these such important positions. I wish Rainer Schulz good luck in managing the Röchling Group together with Evelyn Thome and Franz Lübbers. All my best also to Raphael Wolfram in managing Röchling Automotive together with Andrea Rocca,” says Freiherr von Salmuth.