Executive board changes at Windmöller & Hölscher

Windmöller & Hölscher on its way to becoming a billion Euro company

Changes to the management board of W&H - Dr Jürgen Vutz joins the supervisory board, Peter Steinbeck becomes chief executive officer

Dr Jürgen Vutz, chief executive officer and managing partner at machinery manufacturer, Windmöller & Hölscher, in Lengerich, Germany since 2001, will join the company’s supervisory board beginning January 1, 2021. The position of chief executive officer will be taken over by Peter Steinbeck, also a managing partner and currently chief scientific officer, responsible for sales and service. As of January 2021, the management board will be made up of Peter Steinbeck (chief executive officer and head of sales & service), Dr Falco Paepenmüller (chief technology officer), and Martin Schulteis (chief financial officer).

Both Dr Jürgen Vutz and Peter Steinbeck were appointed to the management board of the family-owned company in 1999. Two years later, Vutz took over as chief executive officer. In the course of his more than 22 years on the board, Vutz has had a decisive influence on the company. During this time, W&H has grown significantly through its continuous focus on market demands and the development of the company. Sales grew from approximately Euro 300 million (approximately Rs 2,611 crore) in 1999 to over Euro 900 million (approximately Rs 7,834 crore) in 2019, and the number of employees has increased from roughly 2,100 to 3,100.

“The most important goal for me has always been to make W&H a stable and successful company for the long term. We have achieved a great deal and have set the right course for the coming years. We can proudly look into the future, full of optimism. Even with Corona challenging us, W&H, the world market leader, is on its way to becoming a billion Euro company. Now I can calmly pass the baton to Peter Steinbeck,” said the PhD in Engineering.

Vutz’s appointment to the supervisory board will become effective on January 1, 2021, and he will remain closely involved in the further development of the company. On behalf of all shareholders, Adelheid Windmöller, majority shareholder, expressed special thanks, “In the more than 20 years of his successful career, Dr. Vutz has been more than just chief executive officer, he has become part of our family business. We owe him a great deal of gratitude and are delighted that he will continue to be available as an important resource to the supervisory board in the future.”

Vutz’s long-time colleague on the management board, Peter Steinbeck, who is also responsible for sales and service, will become the new chief executive officer effective January 1, 2021. With this step, the company that celebrated its 150th-anniversary last year has ensured continuity in its management team. The transition has been in the works for a long time. Dr Falco Paepenmüller was promoted internally in 2019, and the recent addition of Martin Schulteis last month completed the new team.

The company will continue its current strategic course. “We are pursuing a long-term corporate strategy that will remain in place. This includes a strong focus on technology at our headquarters in Lengerich, an excellent components manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic, and worldwide subsidiaries close to our regional customers. I look forward to the new responsibilities as chief executive officer and to working together with my colleagues on the board and the entire W&H team,” said Steinbeck.

Windmöller & Hölscher, a family-owned company, is world leader for machinery and systems for the manufacturing and converting of flexible packaging. The product portfolio includes high-performance machines for film extrusion, printing, and converting. As a global company, W&H offers its clients everything from a single source: from expert consultation and engineering to the delivery of high-quality machines and complete packaging production lines. Approximately 3,100 employees create optimal solutions for the individual production tasks of flexible packaging producers – bringing the corporate philosophy “Passion for innovation “to life. Machines by Windmöller & Hölscher are in use in over 130 countries and by more than 5,000 customers.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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