Change in leadership at KNAPP AG

Press information: Published on in Company

After 26 years in the executive management, the Chief Executive Officer of KNAPP AG, DI Eduard Wünscher, is changing to the Supervisory Board. The new executive management is comprised of three members of the Managing Board under the lead of Managing Board member Gerald Hofer, MBA. The executive committee of the Supervisory Board – Dr. Herbert Knapp and Univ.-Prof. Günter Knapp – announced that DI Franz Mathi and Dr. Christian Grabner will be appointed as new members of the Managing Board.

(Hart/Graz, August 2, 2012) The Chief Executive Officer of KNAPP AG, DI Eduard Wünscher, is changing to the Supervisory Board of the company as of October 1, 2012. Wünscher, who has been active in the executive management for 26 years, with 25 years as Managing Director as well as in the Managing Board at KNAPP, will continue to assist the company in an advisory role in addition to his activities in the Supervisory Board. “Eduard Wünscher has significantly contributed to the successful development of KNAPP AG. His leadership has shaped the company and led us to where we are today: ranking at the top of the market”, says Dr. Herbert Knapp, chairperson of the KNAPP AG Supervisory Board.

The Wünscher era: from medium-sized business to a corporate group
During Wünscher’s active time, KNAPP AG developed from a medium-sized business to a corporate group with a turnover of about 327 million euros (fiscal year 2011/2012). Wünscher on this change: “In the past years, through our combined efforts, we succeeded in making KNAPP a global player and became the world market leader in several industries. The time has now come for me to take on a new responsibility. I am handing over a successful business and am looking forward to my new role on the Supervisory Board!” In a meeting on August 1, 2012, the Supervisory Board prepared the ground for this transition. Herbert Knapp: “In the future, a team of three members of the Managing Board, with Gerald Hofer in the position of Chief Executive Officer and the new members of the Managing Board DI Franz Mathi and Dr. Christian Grabner, will take over the executive management of the company.“

Outlook: aiming for an increase in turnover of 10 percent
Gerald Hofer, who successfully completed the master degree programme for “Generic Management” at the Montanuniversität Leoben and joined the company in 1994, has had various management positions at KNAPP since 2001 and is part of the Managing Board since 2010. He emphasizes that he wants to continue on the successful course of the past years. Hofer: “In the last couple of years we succeeded in positioning KNAPP on the world market as technologically leading supplier. This is only possible through constant innovation and continuous expansion in the field of expertise. The goal is to continue our organic growth in the next few years.” For the fiscal year 2012/13, the management plans for an increase in turnover of about 10 percent.

Franz Mathi (COO) and Christian Grabner (CFO) new on the Managing Board
With this change, two executive managers of KNAPP, the previous Executive Vice Presidents Franz Mathi and Christian Grabner, take over functions on the Managing Board, which has been comprised of two individuals and increases to three. Mathi, with an electrical engineering background, joined the company in 1999 and has held various management positions at KNAPP since 2002. As COO, Mathi will in future account for the areas procurement, development and production in the future. Business economist and electrical engineer Grabner was head of the company’s controlling department since 2008 and was appointed as Executive Vice President in 2011. As CFO, Grabner will be responsible for the corporate group finances. Herbert and Günter Knapp conclude: “We in particular want to thank Eduard Wünscher for the outstanding work he has done in the past. With the new Managing Board, the company is well prepared for the future. We have laid the basis for further years of success.”

KNAPP AG operates internationally in the field of warehouse automation and warehouse logistics software. The company with headquarters in Hart bei Graz has 2,100 employees worldwide. The high export quota of 98% reflects the international character of the business: KNAPP has 18 subsidiaries and 14 representative offices around the globe. In the past fiscal year, the company achieved a record turnover of 327 million euros.