Henkel has announced that the current CEO Hans Van Bylen, for personal reasons, will not be available for a further term after about 35 years with the company, including about 15 years on the management board and four years as its CEO. He will therefore hand over the position as CEO to his successor Carsten Knobel effective 1 January 2020. Knobel joined Henkel in 1995 and has been on the management board since 2012, responsible for finance, purchasing and integrated business solutions. His succession as chief financial officer is still to be decided.
"After about 35 years with Henkel, I have decided that with the expiration of my contract next year it is now the right time to make an orderly change at the top of the company. For personal reasons, I will not seek a further term as Chairman of the Management Board. I would like to thank all employees and my colleagues in the Management Board for their dedication and commitment over the past years, as well as all members of our supervisory committees for their support and advice", said Hans Van Bylen. "I am also glad that we were able to appoint Carsten Knobel from within our Management Board as successor and CEO. I am convinced that Henkel will continue to develop successfully under his leadership".
The Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and Shareholders' Committee, Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, thanked Hans Van Bylen on behalf of the committees and the Henkel family for his services to the company: "Hans Van Bylen has made a significant contribution to the successful development of our company over the years and has actively developed numerous senior leaders," said Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah.
"Under the leadership of Hans Van Bylen, all business units were further strengthened through acquisitions and partnerships. The acquisition of Sun Products significantly expanded the market position of our Laundry & Home Care business in the USA, our largest market worldwide. Acquisitions were also made in Adhesive Technologies and Beauty Care. He put particular emphasis on the digitalization of the company in all areas, which he drove forward with great determination. We would like to sincerely thank him for the important course settings during his time as CEO and for his commitment to our company for more than 35 years," continued Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah.
Hans Van Bylen (58) started his professional career at Henkel in 1984. As a member of the Management Board of Henkel since 2005, he was initially responsible for the Beauty Care business unit before being appointed Chairman of the Management Board at the beginning of 2016. Since September 2018, Hans Van Bylen has also been President of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and Vice President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF).
"With Carsten Knobel, we have appointed an excellent successor from within the company. He knows Henkel very well and has many years of international management and leadership experience. He is highly regarded by his colleagues on the Management Board as well as by our employees and has also an excellent reputation in the capital markets. We are convinced that, together with the entire Management Board, he will continue to drive vigorously the development of our company. On behalf of all Henkel committees and employees, I wish him all the best and success for the future," said Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah.
Carsten Knobel was born in 1969 in Marburg. After studying business administration and technical chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin, he started his career at Henkel in 1995 as assistant to the Management Board member responsible for research and development. He then moved to the Beauty Care business unit, where he held various positions of increasing responsibility in controlling, M&A and the operating businesses. Following his roles as Head of Corporate Strategy & Controlling and Financial Director of the Beauty Care unit, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2012.
He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bundesliga Soccer Club Fortuna Düsseldorf. Carsten Knobel is married and has two children.
"I am grateful for the trust which is expressed through this appointment. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Management Board and our global team to shape the future of Henkel. We have excellent employees, leading brands and technologies, exciting innovations and great opportunities for further sustainable profitable growth with our businesses in a dynamic market environment," said Carsten Knobel.
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