Dr. Reiner Beutel Succeeds Rudi Ludwig as CEO
Luxembourg, January 28, 2009 – Rudi Ludwig (60), Chief Executive Officer of
SAF-HOLLAND Group GmbH, will withdraw from day-to-day operations when his
contract expires on February 28, 2009 in accordance with his own wishes. As
a member of the Board of Directors of SAF-HOLLAND S.A., Rudi Ludwig will
continue to influence the strategic direction of the Company and will be at
the disposal of the Company in the changing market environment. His
successor as CEO will be Dr. Reiner Beutel (49), who will assume his new
position on February 2, 2009 in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Most recently Dr. Reiner Beutel has held several Board of Directors seats,
amongst others for Haldex AB, KUKA AG and Mirror Controls International.
Prior to this, as CEO and CFO of Schefenacker AG in Schwaikheim, Germany,
his responsibilities included the operational and financial realignment of
this international automotive supplier. Dr. Beutel began his career after
studying business administration in Germany and the USA; he earned a
doctorate with a focus on strategic planning and controlling in 1986 while
working as a business consultant at A.T. Kearney GmbH. Beginning in 1989,
he spent fifteen years at the Robert Bosch Group, where he served in a
variety of positions with increasing management responsibility, his final
position being President, Chairman and CEO of the Bosch Power Tools
division in Illinois, USA.
'Dr. Reiner Beutel will strengthen our Company as a proven industrial
management expert with international experience, who will continue the
growth and globalization strategy initiated by Rudi Ludwig and advance
SAF-HOLLAND’s development under new economic conditions,' commented Dr.
Rolf Bartke, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Rudi Ludwig, who has served as Chairman of the Management Board since June
2003, launched the former SAF Group (Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik GmbH) on a
successful growth path. As a result of his strategic vision, he more than
tripled the sales of the Company from EUR 243 million to approximately EUR
800 million within a few years. Significant milestones were the
restructuring of business processes in the early years, the merger of the
German Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik GmbH with the American company The Holland
Group, Inc. in 2006, the IPO of the combined company in 2007 and further
acquisitions in 2008 that contributed to the globalization and rounding out
of the product range.
'Mr. Ludwig has made a substantial contribution to positioning SAF-HOLLAND
as a leading supplier in its core international markets. His continued
association with our Company as a member of the Board of Directors is
extremely valuable and provides continuity as SAF-HOLLAND continues to move
forward. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and all employees, I
would like to thank him for his work as Chairman of the Management Board,'
remarked Dr. Rolf Bartke, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The remainder of the SAF-HOLLAND Group GmbH’s Management Board remains the
same, with Wilfried Trepels as CFO, Sam Martin as COO, Detlef Borghart as
Head of the Trailer Systems Business Unit, Jack Gisinger as Head of the
Powered Vehicle Systems Business Unit and Steffen Schewerda as Head of
With more than EUR 800 million in sales and over 2,000 employees,
SAF-HOLLAND S.A. is one of the worldwide leading manufacturers and
suppliers of premium product systems and components primarily for trailers
as well as trucks, buses and recreational vehicles. The product range
encompasses axle and suspension systems, fifth wheels, couplers, kingpins
and landing legs. SAF-HOLLAND customers include the majority of large truck
and trailer producers all over the world. The products are sold to Original
Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Original Equipment Suppliers (OESs) by
means of a global service and distribution network and via aftermarket
channels directly to end users and service garages. SAF-HOLLAND has
therefore established itself as one of the few manufacturers in its sector
that is internationally positioned with an extensive product range and a
broad service network. SAF-HOLLAND S.A. has been listed in the Prime
Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.
28.01.2009 Financial News transmitted by DGAP