Ceramic Industry

Reithofer to Retire from Wienerberger, Scheuch Named New CEO (posted 4/30/09)

April 30, 2009
Wolfgang Reithofer will retire and resign as CEO of Wienerberger on July 31, 2009, and Heimo Scheuch will become the new CEO on August 1.

Wolfgang Reithofer will retire and resign as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Wienerberger AG on July 31, 2009. The supervisory board of Wienerberger AG accepted this announcement at a recent meeting. In the future, Reithofer will be available to support the supervisory board in an advisory capacity. Heimo Scheuch, longstanding chief operating officer (COO) and deputy CEO since the beginning of this year, will become the new CEO on August 1, 2009.

“After more than 28 years with Wienerberger, the last 24 as a member of the managing board and CEO since 2001, I have decided to end my active professional career and retire after my 60th birthday,” said Reithofer. “The timing is right; in recent months, we have created a foundation that will allow the company to master these difficult times and also taken precautionary measures to safeguard the financial strength of Wienerberger. The managing board under Heimo Scheuch now has a solid foundation to make further key decisions in this difficult phase, which will enable Wienerberger to resume its previous growth course after the end of the economic crisis.”

Friedrich Kadrnoska, chairman of the supervisory board, said, “I would like to thank Wolfgang Reithofer for his service to Wienerberger and the excellent cooperation during the past years. He was responsible for the steady pursuit of the company’s internationalization, with the result that Wienerberger is now the largest producer of bricks in the world. The appointment of Heimo Scheuch as the new CEO was a clear decision. The issue of succession planning for the position of CEO has been under discussion for some time by the supervisory board and the personnel and nominating committee. This new order reflects the recommendation of the managing board and will allow for a smooth transition. Continuity through an experienced and excellent team is important, especially against the backdrop of the current global economic crisis. All the members of the managing board have been with Wienerberger for more than 10 years.”

“In recent months, we have taken additional steps to prepare the company for the difficult operating environment,” said Scheuch. “This would not have been possible without the excellent teamwork of the board members, and not without the trust and commitment of our employees. These strengths form a basis that I intend to build on in the future. I look forward to these new challenges and am confident that, together with my colleagues on the board, we will be able to continue the realization of the Group’s strategy and the positive development of business in the future.”

Scheuch’s current position as COO will remain vacant, and the managing board will be comprised of three members in the future. With the reduction of the managing board and the resulting additional work for each member, Wienerberger is also setting a clear signal that cost awareness represents a key focus for top management. The new managing board will be comprised of Scheuch as CEO and, as in the past, Johann Windisch as COO and Willy Van Riet as chief financial officer (CFO). According to the new distribution of duties, Scheuch will be responsible for the core ceramic building materials business outside Europe, as well as concrete products, and Johann Windisch will direct the core ceramic building materials business in Europe. The terms of office for the three members of the managing board extend to May 21, 2014.

Additional details are available at www.wienerberger.com.