HEIDENHEIM, Germany, March 21, 2014 (Press Release) - Dr. Hans-Peter Sollinger, Member of the Corporate Board of Management of Voith GmbH and Chairman of the Management Board of Voith Paper, will be leaving Voith on July 1, 2014 after serving the company for 32 years. The Supervisory Board and Shareholders' Committee have appointed Bertram Staudenmaier as his successor. Within the Voith Paper Management Board, Staudenmaier was previously responsible for the Business Lines Fabric & Roll Systems and Products & Services and is also a member of the Voith Corporate Board of Management. By introducing this generational change now, Voith Paper is ensuring continuity over the next decade.
"Dr. Hans-Peter Sollinger has played a crucial role in the further development of the Voith Paper Division in recent years. Under his leadership, and during a period of radical change for the entire European paper industry, the management took important steps to equip Voith Paper for the coming years. On behalf of all Voithians, the Shareholders' Committee and Supervisory Board would like to thank Dr. Hans-Peter Sollinger for his more than three decades of loyal service to the company," says Dr. Manfred Bischoff, Chair of the Shareholders' Committee and Supervisory Board of Voith GmbH.
In recent years Dr. Sollinger had pressed ahead with a comprehensive restructuring program to align the Division to the structural decline in the market for graphic paper machines and the growing market demand from Asia for mid-sized paper machines. "Following a very intensive realignment phase, the course set at Voith Paper is now such that I am able to hand over responsibility for the paper segment at Voith. After 32 years with the company, 14 of them as a member of Voith's Corporate Board of Management, and at the age of 61, it is now the right time for me personally and professionally to hand over the reins to a younger successor who can provide the necessary continuity to lead the Division into the next decade. I would like to thank most sincerely all Voith Paper employees, of whom we have demanded a great deal in recent years, for their exceptional commitment, their loyalty and their enthusiasm for the business of papermaking. I am proud to have had the privilege of being part of this team. I am leaving with a host of good memories and will continue to maintain close ties with Voith. With Bertram Staudenmaier a colleague is now taking over with whom I have jointly managed Voith Paper for the past ten years. I am confident the new management team will continue to develop the Group Division successfully," said Sollinger.
Dr. Sollinger joined Voith in 1982 as a project planning engineer for coating machines. Following various management positions he assumed responsibility for the Paper Machines sector in 1994. In the same year he was appointed as a member of the Management Board of Voith Paper. In 2000, Dr. Sollinger joined the Corporate Board of Management of the Voith Group and since succeeding Hans Müller as Chairman of the Management Board of Voith Paper in 2005 has been responsible for the entire paper segment within the Voith Group.
Under his leadership Voith Paper became the leading single-source supplier to the paper industry in all regions of the world. Following the acquisition of the paper technology operations of the British Scapa Group in 1999, Dr. Sollinger finished combining the systems, product, clothing and service segments and made Voith Paper the first genuine single-source supplier for the paper industry worldwide. He also shaped the successful establishment and development of the automation business at Voith Paper. Moreover, at a time when few suppliers were taking note of the issue of sustainability, Dr. Sollinger recognized the competitive edge to be gained by the efficient use of resources in paper manufacturing. He embedded this issue systematically and in dialogue with NGOs as a trademark of Voith Paper. In addition, he was responsible for the systematic globalization of the paper business at Voith. In this context, one area of focus was the expansion of business with and in China in the last 15 years. Voith Paper City in Kunshan, from where Voith now supplies customers in the expanding Chinese paper market and entire region of Asia, bears Dr. Sollinger's signature. Most recently, he devoted great personal energy to successfully realigning and reorganizing Voith Paper to take account of the fundamental structural changes taking place in global paper markets.
"Dr. Hans-Peter Sollinger is a genuine papermaker through and through. He has rendered outstanding service to the paper sector not just at Voith but also to the paper industry worldwide. I have always very much appreciated working with him and have great respect for his decision to now actively initiate a generational change at Voith Paper," says President and CEO Dr. Hubert Lienhard.
Bertram Staudenmaier, the new head of Voith Paper, comes from the Heidenheim region and has spent the better part of his professional life in the paper industry. His career began at Gummiwerke Becker in Heidenheim and took him via various positions, e.g. at BTR/Stowe Woodward AG in Düren and Stowe Woodward North America in Westborough, to the USA, where following the sale of Stowe Woodward operations to the Xerium Group he was responsible for Xerium's entire North American business from 2003. In 2005 Bertram Staudenmaier joined Voith as a member of the Corporate Board of Management and assumed responsibility for Voith Paper's Business Line Fabric & Roll Systems, which he has built up in recent years to be an expanding and highly successful business unit. Working closely with Dr. Hans-Peter Sollinger, Bertram Staudenmaier made a key contribution to managing the Voith Paper Division profitably.
With Bertram Staudenmaier only one member of Voith Paper Division will be represented in Voith's Corporate Board of Management in the future. This means that the Group's management body will be reduced from seven to six members in future. This change will become effective as of July 1, 2014.
Voith Paper in fiscal year 2012/13:
Sales: €1,639 million
Orders received: €1,366 million
Employees (as at 30.09.): 9,223
Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 43,000 people, generates €5.7 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.