After being nearly 15 years in office, Jürg Oleas is stepping down in April 2019 as CEO of GEA Group. Swiss-born Oleas had been a member of GEA’s Executive Board since May 2001and was appointed CEO of GEA Group in November 2004. GEA, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany and one of the largest suppliers of process technology for the food and beverage industry, has undergone various restructuring and name changes in recent years and has not yet fully digested the huge number of acquisitions under the aegis of Oleas.
Several activist investors have urged the company to cut costs and to improve margins. As the ongoing restructuring plans did not proceed as planned the group had to cut its full-year earnings guidance twice last year and has put under scrutiny all parts of the company. (inside.beer, 31.1.2018)
Helmut Perlet, Chairman of the supervisory board informed of the further steps: “The supervisory board will shortly discuss any further course of action and commence the formal selection process without delay. Our goal is to appoint a successor by the end of 2018.”
However, the industry is currently in a phase where more radical steps are needed. Observers could also imagine a closer cooperation between the various players in the market (inside beer, 8.3.2018).
One of GEA’s closest rivals, KHS from Dortmund, Germany, is also looking for a new CEO after the surprise dismissal of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer at the end of last year. (inside.beer, 25.11.2017)