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.