Warsteiner, which 30 years ago was Germany's largest and most dynamically growing beer brand, is closing another chapter in its recent history with the departure of its former CEO Christian Gieselmann. After restructuring expert Helmut Hörz joined Warsteiner Brauerei as new Chief Financial Officer and assumed the role of Chairman of the Management Board on July 1, Gieselmann's role was limited to Managing Director Marketing and Sales. (inside.beer, 23.6.2021)
As it became known today, Gieselmann will leave now Warsteiner on November 15 and his duties in the group will be taken over on an interim basis by Hörz, until a replacement is found. Apparently, however, he will retain his supervisory board mandates at Warsteiner subsidiaries such as Trinks and König Ludwig, at least for the time being.
"I am very grateful to Mr. Gieselmann for the good induction and very collegial support over the last few months, which have given me the best possible start in my new role," Hörz said.
Gieselmannwho was part of Roland Berger’s restructuring team at Warsteiner, joined the company in 2018 (inside.beer, 5.2.2018). He assumed the role of Chairman of the Management Board only a few months later, after his former Roland Berger colleague Alessandra Cama quit the job after only 15 months. (inside.beer, 29.10.2018)
Gieselmann’s departure means bad news for Herforder Brauerei, another subsidiary of Warsteiner from the namesake city 100km north of Warstein. The regional brewery with a pre-COVID production of about 500,000 hl of beer (thereof about half of the volume as contract brews) was bought in 2007 but never performed up to the expected targets. Gieselmann, a native of Herford, was said to be particularly close to his home brewery. But all attempts to restructure or sell the brewery failed. With Gieselmann's departure, an important advocate is no longer present, and all options including closure of the brewery are again on the table.
"With Christian Gieselmann, I had a great and highly valued person and manager at my side, on whom I could always rely and with whom we overcame the difficult Corona period," says Catharina Cramer, owner and managing partner of the brewery group. Gieselmann is leaving at his own request, Warsteiner says.
Despite numerous rumors, the Warsteiner Group as a whole does not appear to be for sale. According to a report in Manager Magazin, Hörz has signed a long-term contract and has set himself the task of putting Warsteiner back on the road to success. A corresponding concept is to be presented shortly.
It is probably the last chance for the brewery, which has fallen from over 6 million hl to under 2 million hl, and it is to be hoped that "the only true" (“das einzige Wahre”) will soon find its way back to renewed strength.