German chemical and consumer goods major 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 hand over his position as the CEO to his successor Carsten Knobel effective January 1, 2020.
Knobel joined Henkel in 1995 and has been on the Management Board since 2012 and is responsible for finance, purchasing and integrated business solutions. His succession as CFO is still to be decided.
Commenting on the announcement Hans Van Bylen said: "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. 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".
Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and Shareholders' Committee, thanked Hans Van Bylen on behalf of the committees and Henkel 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."
"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 and 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.
Carsten Knobel said: "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."