Press Releases, 05.08.2015

Change of management at Preh

President and CEO Dr. Michael Roesnick retires after 16 years at the helm. Christoph Hummel designated as successor

Bad Neustadt. The end of an era at Preh GmbH: President and CEO Michael Roesnick (61), who holds a doctorate in control engineering, is set to retire at the end of the year after 16 years at the helm. His successor, Christoph Hummel (49), has been a member of the car component supplier’s and automation specialist’s executive board since 2008. Roesnick and Hummel aim to use the remainder of this year to ensure a seamless transition and maximum continuity between the new management and the old.

But the company will continue to benefit from Dr. Roesnick’s experience even after the change of leadership: He will take up the post of chairman of the supervisory board in May 2016. Besides the chairmanship, as of 1 January 2016 Christoph Hummer will assume management duties at Preh for Sales/Marketing, Project Management, E-mobility, Preh IMA Automation and Quality. Dr. Ernst-Rudolf Bauer (59) will remain responsible for the Finance/Controlling, IT and Human Resources departments while Zhengxin “Charlie” Cai (43) will be in charge of Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Commercial Vehicles. The management department held by Development Chief, Jochen Ehrenberg (48), will be expanded to include the entire technical areas of Product Development and Production.

Dr. Michael Roesnick was instrumental in turning Preh into a global player in automobile electronics and automation solutions. When he became chairman of the board in 1999, Preh had an annual turnover of approximately €172 million. By 2014, the turnover had grown to €611 million and the company’s earning power was substantially stronger. In 1999, Preh had 1,500 employees worldwide. Today, the employee complement exceeds 4,500 and continues to grow. Additionally, Roesnick systematically pursued a course of internationalization at Preh. He opened a US sales office for the automotive business in 2003 and founded a new manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2005. Within just ten years, Preh rose to the position of market leader for air conditioning control systems in North America. At the height of the global automobile crisis in 2008/2009, the management team led by Dr. Roesnick boldly embarked on another crucial internationalization venture by opening a plant in Rumania in 2009. This plant soon became a major contributor to the growing competitive power of the car component supply company. Finally, in 2011 Roesnick was one of the key figures in winning the Chinese investor Joyson as a partner for Preh. To swiftly close the gap in the rapidly growing Chinese market, Roesnick persuaded the then investor DBAG not only to invest in a new production plant in China, but also to sell to a Chinese strategic investor. This decision was vindicated by the growth rates recorded by Preh in the last four years, which were well above the industry average.

Jeff Wang, the founder and majority shareholder of Joyson, says about the life’s work of Hamburg-born Dr. Roesnick: “It is no exaggeration to say that Michael Roesnick is ‘Mister Preh’. His impact on the company in the last two decades has been second to none. Despite systematic internationalization and dynamic growth, he succeeded in preserving the company’s traditional corporate culture and steadily continued to develop Preh’s unique innovative capacity. This is Preh’s most important strong point, and I am profoundly grateful to Dr. Roesnick for fostering it. Even at our very first meetings I was impressed both by his leadership qualities and by the caliber of his management team. This was a crucial factor in our decision to invest in Preh, and I am very happy that, in Christoph Hummel, we have found a successor for him who has grown into his responsibilities over many years at Preh and who can continue the company’s development with the necessary continuity while still adding his own individual style. Preh will be in the best possible hands with Christoph Hummel at the helm.”

Christoph Hummel studied business engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt and completed an Executive MBA Program in Evanston/IL (USA) and in Koblenz. Born in Würzburg, he began his professional career by working as a sales engineer in the “automotive technology” division of Preh in Bad Neustadt from 1993 to 1998. After stints at Plastic Omnium GmbH in Karben and as a Key Account Manager at Visteon Automotive Systems in Cologne/Stuttgart, Hummel returned to Preh in 2000. As an authorized officer and head of sales and product management, he also temporarily served as President and CEO of Preh in Novi/MI (USA) and was a key figure in developing Preh’s North American business. Hummel has served as director of sales, marketing, and project management at Preh GmbH since early 2008.