SINDELFINGEN, Germany, 15 July 2021: The Supervisory Board of BITZER has appointed Christian Wehrle, long-standing member of the Executive Board and Chief Operations Officer, as CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board with immediate effect, the company said through a Press release. At the same time, the Board appointed Rainer Große-Kracht, member of the Executive Board and Chief Technology Officer, as Vice Chairman of the Executive Board, the company added.
According to Bitzer, Wehrle will remain in charge of operations as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Große-Kracht will continue to act as Chief Technology Officer, Martin Büchsel as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Frank Hartmann as Chief Financial Officer.
Almost six years after the death of her husband, Peter Schaufler, Senator h.c., who was the leader and CEO of the company, the time has come for Christiane Schaufler-Münch, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of BITZER SE, to realign the board structure for the future, in order that the company always remains able to act, and that the future development of the BITZER Group is stable, the company said.
“Customer focus, values such as long-term thinking, partnership-based cooperation and loyalty to stakeholders as well as sustainability have shaped BITZER in the past and are firmly anchored in its corporate culture, Wehrle said. In this spirit, he added, he wanted to continue managing and setting the course of the company together with his three board colleagues.
According to Bitzer, Wehrle joined the company in 2001 as Plant Manager, first in Sindelfingen, and as of 2003, in Rottenburg am Neckar, in the International Competence Centre for screw compressors. In 2007, he took over the management of the BITZER production sites, worldwide, as Chief Production Officer, the company said. Since mid-2015, he has been in charge of the entire supply chain of the Group as Chief Operations Officer, the company added.
As Chief Technology Officer, Große-Kracht is responsible for research and development, worldwide, Bitzer said. He has over two decades of experience in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry and has been working for the company since 1997, it said. In 2018, it added, he was elected Chairman of the Association of European Refrigeration Component Manufacturers (ASERCOM).