German industrial and consumer giant Henkel has enacted a changing of the guard in its top leadership team after incumbent chief executive Hans Van Bylen confirmed he would no longer be able to fulfill his duties for personal reasons.
That decision will bring a 35-year career with the business to an end on January 1, 2020, at the end of his current contract, which will see chief financial officer Carsten Knobel will step forward as successor.
Van Bylen said: "I am also glad that we were able to appoint Carsten Knobel from within our Management Board as successor and chief executive. I am convinced that Henkel will continue to develop successfully under his leadership".
The chairwoman of the supervisory board and shareholders' committee Dr Simone Bagel-Trah said: "With Carsten Knobel, we have appointed an excellent successor from within the company. He knows Henkel very well and has many years of international management and leadership experience."
"He is highly regarded by his colleagues on the management board as well as by our employees and has also an excellent reputation in the capital markets. We are convinced that, together with the entire management board, he will continue to drive vigorously the development of our company.”
Knobel has served Henkel since joining the firm as a fresh-faced recruit in 1995, working his way through the ranks to reach the management board in 2012. His current responsibilities include finance, purchasing and integrated business solutions.
Under Van Bylen’s tenure, Henkel has carried out a series of acquisitions such as Sun Products to strengthen its position in sectors such as adhesives and has played a lead role in the digitization of the company.