Germany: CEO Alessandra Cama leaves Warsteiner after only 15 months

One of German’s former leading and most prestigious breweries does not come to a rest. Only 15 months after Alessandra Cama took office as CEO of Warsteiner Group (inside.beer, 7.9.2017), she announced to leave the company in January 2019 at her own request.

According to a statement by Warsteiner, Cama’s departure has been planned for some time. However, the announcement came to a surprise to most employees and clients because as announced earlier it was expected that Cama would stay longer at the helm of Warsteiner to assist the company through the burdensome transition and streamlining process.

Her successor will be CFO Christian Gieselmann, who like Cama just recently joined the Warsteiner Group. He also came from management consultancy Roland Berger. (inside.beer, 5.2.2018), which he joined as an expert in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in Munich and Milan. He was also part of Roland Berger’s restructuring team at pasta producer Barilla Group and performed in this context from September 2010 through October 2013 the role as Chief Operating Officer at German industrial bakery market leader Lieken, a subsidiary of Barilla, before returning to Roland Berger in January 2015.

As CEO, Gieselmann will be spokesman for the management and also assume responsibility for the marketing and sales division. The 47-year-old new Warsteiner boss, who studied business administration at the University of Münster and at the Université Paris-Dauphine, is also considered a strategy and sales expert. In his own family business Chocolaterie Gieselmann, he had been managing partner and led the sales department.

Gieselmann is native from Herford, Westfalia /Germany, where he will also face one of the hardest tasks in his career. When Alessandra Cama is leaving the company at the end of this year, she will also leave behind her the unfinished sale of Herforder Brauerei. Warsteiner Group owns in the city with its 60,000 inhabitants a local brewery with a production of about 300,000 hl beer of its own brand Herforder and another 200,000 hl with contract brewing for Germany’s largest supermarket chain Edeka (brands: Oscar Maxxum, Traugott Simon).

The brewery has been a problem child of the group for years and Warsteiner is looking to sell it to a third party. However, it is not the best time to sell a brewery in Germany as AB InBev had to realise, when the intended sale of its two German breweries Hasseröder and Diebels failed earlier this year (inside.beer, 2.7.2018)

When Gieselmann rises to the top of the company, his former role as Chief Financial Officer will become idle and will lead to the search for a new CFO.

The news from the changes at the top of the Management Board comes just a few days after Warsteiner announced the sale of its distribution arm Warsteiner Distribution with four beverage wholesalers and several beverage markets.

As of 1 January 2019, the Fako-M Group from Neuss will take over Getränke Hornung in Bocholt and Getränke Krietemeyer in Hamm. Effective the same date, Preuss Münchhagen, a 100% subsidiary of the Radeberger Group, will take over Getränke Kamphenkel with around 1,400 bars and restaurants.

Already on December 1, 2018, Dursty Beverage Markets / Getränke Hoffmann acquires five beverage markets from SD Superdrinks.

Sauerland Getränke, based in Brilon-Altenbüren close to Warstein, which supplies around 400 restaurants and more than 1,000 events in the vicinity of the brewery, will stay with Warsteiner. "The core market is a very important market for Warsteiner, which we would like to continue to manage on our own. That's why Sauerland Getränke will remain with the Warsteiner Group and will continue to expand in the future, "says Alessandra Cama.

As of November 1, Peter Georg Meyer will assume the role as a sales director of Sauerland Getränke and will be responsible for the 18,000 hl of the beverage wholesaler. He returns to Warsteiner after having already worked from 1998 until 2006 for the brewery.

 

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