Start Finance CEO of Knorr-Bremse throws down

CEO of Knorr-Bremse throws down

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It’s a departure on bang and fall. Quite unexpectedly, Klaus Deller leaves his post as CEO of the automotive supplier Knorr-Bremse with immediate effect. What’s going on there?

As a reason for the sudden departure of the 57-year-old manager, the company spoke in a statement of „different views of leadership and cooperation.“ Deller had brought the family business, which belongs to the majority of the billionaire Heinz Hermann Thiele, in the fall of last year on the stock exchange. With great success, the share has since double-digit growth and rose in the second stock market, the MDax.

Investors therefore reacted disappointed to the news of Dell’s resignation. According to the company, the world market leader for truck and train brakes lost six percent, but is still 20 percent above the issue price. Knorr-Bremse tried to appease and said that the successful strategy would not change.

„Fully on schedule“

The current business is also „fully on schedule“ this year. For the first year on the stock exchange, Knorr-Bremse pays a dividend of 1.75 euros per share. The net profit, which the company had not yet mentioned at the balance sheet press conference in early March, rose by seven percent in 2018 to 630 million euros.

The family Thiele alone gets paid almost 200 million euros in dividends. Until a successor for Deller is found, the three remaining board members should take over his duties. On Tuesday, the Supervisory Board had met to approve the balance for 2018.

Further course information about Knorr-Bremse

Insiders report tensions
Former Daimler manager Klaus Mangold, who has been leading the Supervisory Board since October, praised Deller for his „extraordinarily successful work“. Thiele has been honorary chairman of the supervisory board for three years, but according to industry insiders, is still very present in the company, also in the operative business.

The 78-year-old has his office right next to Deller’s. An industry expert reported tensions between Thiele and the previous CEO. „That was just a marriage of convenience.“ A Knorr-Bremse spokeswoman did not want to comment. Thiele had installed Deller in 2015 as CEO.

From clerk to company boss

At the time, Deller was supposed to become head of the Franconian automotive supplier Schaeffler. Then, however, the family owners decided for CFO Klaus Rosenfeld and found Deller with a million from. Previously, the graduate engineer for mechanical engineering had already been responsible for the commercial vehicle business on the Knorr-Bremse board for five years.

Thiele vigilantly watches over his life’s work. The lawyer had worked his way up to the management of the company, founded in 1905, since 1969 by the patent department clerk and taken over Knorr-Bremse in 1984, after the previous owners had quarreled. He formed the company into a leading brake manufacturer. Until 2007, he led the company himself, before moving to the supervisory board, which he led until 2016.