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Handover of Keys From Prof. Hanns-Peter Knaebel to Rainer Schulz

Small ceremony takes place in Mannheim

In a small ceremony on Thursday, 30 September 2021, Prof. Dr. Hanns-Peter Knaebel was bid farewell as CEO of the Röchling Group and Röchling Automotive by Johannes Freiherr von Salmuth, Chairman of Röchling's Supervisory Boards. At the same time, von Salmuth took the opportunity to hand over the key to Advisory Board member Rainer Schulz. He is taking over Prof. Knaebel's duties on an interim basis until a long-term successor has been found.

Von Salmuth thanked Prof. Knaebel for many of the things he had initiated: "I would have liked to see us finish the things we started." He focused on the Automotive and Medical divisions, for which Prof. Knaebel was responsible on the Executive Board. For example, he said, the outgoing CEO had agreed in May 2019 to address the problems Röchling Automotive was facing at the time. Von Salmuth also looked to the rebranding process that Prof. Knaebel had also initiated in 2019: "The three dots on the O will remain" He wished Prof. Knaebel all the best for his professional future in Berlin.

As a farewell gift, Prof. Hanns-Peter Knaebl receives a gift from Johannes Freiherr von Salmuth.

"Röchling must not only accept the change, but actively shape it."

Prof. Knaebel spoke of four "very dynamic" years in which he was in charge at the Röchling Group. Making the company fit for the third century of its corporate history had been his goal from day one. One thing was clear in this regard, he said: "There is still a lot to do, even though we have initiated some topics. There is enough reason to still state and work on various ideas." But he also had words of caution: "There is a profound and dynamic transformation going on out there. It's important for colleagues to realize that there is a real sense of crisis in the economy, partly because of the effects of the Corona pandemic and the shortage of semiconductors, for example: "Röchling must not only accept the change, but actively shape it."

Rainer Schulz looks forward to his new task as President & CEO of the Röchling Group.

In this situation, von Salmuth was glad to have Rainer Schulz, a proven expert, on board for the transition period: "He knows such a company as Röchling very well," he said, in view of Schulz's many years of experience in the Rehau Group: "You can turn the interregnum into a great opportunity for us," von Salmuth emphasized. The topics such as digitalization, which were initiated by Prof. Knaebel, are precisely the topics Schulz likes to work on, he said.

Rainer Schulz himself is looking forward to the task and to working with the employees, even though his life plan would actually have been different with mandates on supervisory boards: "My focus will be on the continuity of the path the company has taken. That is my firm conviction," he said. As he had previously done in the video published on "One," he made employees the offer to be on first-name terms with him: "But that's just an offer that you don't have to accept."

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