K&B plans future without CEO

Claus Bolza-Schünemann (left) and Dr Andreas Pleßke

Koenig & Bauer will do away with the role of chief executive when incumbent Claus Bolza-Schünemann steps down at the end of the year.

Bolza-Schünemann is the great-great-great-grandson of the group’s co-founder Friedrich Koenig, and his retirement on 31 December will also mark the end of a family connection with the company stretching back more than 200 years.

From 1 January 2021, Dr Andreas Pleßke the head of K&B’s Special presses business, will become ‘management board spokesman’.

There will not be a replacement CEO.

“Koenig & Bauer is so innovative and team-oriented. We will have a spokesman of our management team instead of a CEO in a conventional manner,” a corporate spokesman explained.

Pleßke joined the group in 2014 as chief restructuring officer and was instrumental in the Creation of its Fit@All restructuring programme. His current contract runs until 2025.

Bolza-Schünemann has worked at the company for 28 years, the past nine as president and CEO.

He is also president of Drupa and will continue in that role for the postponed show’s new date in April 2021. He will also act as an ambassador for Koenig & Bauer.

The €1.22bn (£1.1bn) turnover group’s supervisory board thanked him for his “long-standing and exceptionally successful work”.

“He has guided the company with foresight and sound judgement, also bringing it through times of uncertainty,” said chairman Professor Raimund Klinkner.

At the Koenig & Bauer Live ‘virtual trade fair’ event that took place over the original Drupa timeframe, and concluded yesterday, Bolza-Schünemann said he was “fairly convinced” that the same number of visitors that attended Drupa 2016 would come to next year’s event.