Change in management at Messer: Stefan Messer takes over as new Chairman of the Supervisory Board; Bernd Eulitz to become CEO
In its meeting on April 26, the Supervisory Board of Messer SE & Co. KGaA executed the planned change in management at the world’s largest privately held specialist for industrial, medical and specialty gases. Stefan Messer is stepping down as CEO and taking over as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board as the company celebrates its 125th anniversary. Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, who has been serving as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board for many years, will now be an honorary member of this body. At the same time, Bernd Eulitz, who had been serving as Deputy CEO, is being appointed the new CEO of Messer with immediate effect. In addition to Bernd Eulitz, the Management Board now comprises Helmut Kaschenz as Chief Financial Officer and Virginia Esly as Chief Operating Officer Europe.
The new Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Stefan Messer, is a third-generation shareholder and has been in charge of Messer since 2004, when he returned the company to full family ownership following an existential crisis. Under his leadership, Messer was able to reestablish itself as a key player in a market for industrial gases that is otherwise dominated by major international corporations. One of the milestones in this development was the acquisition in 2019 – in collaboration with financial investor CVC Capital Partners – of key activities in North and South America from Linde and Praxair following the merger of these two companies. The activities that were acquired were combined with most of Messer’s activities in Western Europe within the framework of the Messer Industries joint venture, which has been industrially managed as a separate unit of Messer ever since. Messer’s stated goal is to entirely integrate the joint venture into the Messer Group in order to create a global gas corporation under the leadership of the Messer family.
About the just-completed change in management, Stefan Messer explains: “Our industrial gases business has performed tremendously over the years. As a result, we have established a very strong foundation for the next successful chapter in the 125-year history of Messer. It is essential that we utilize our full potential as a customer-centric and value-oriented player in the global marketplace in the years to come. Bernd Eulitz is a leadership personality with a strong sense of integrity and responsibility, as well as a wealth of experience in the gases business. Together with his strong management team and the company's loyal international workforce he is predestined to lead Messer to further successes in the future.”
Bernd Eulitz joined the Messer Group at the beginning of 2022 as Deputy CEO. Before coming to Messer, Bernd Eulitz last served as CEO of a German MDAX company. He looks back on more than twenty years of experience in the industrial gases sector. Among other things, he held various leadership positions in Germany and abroad with the competitor firm Linde, where he was also a member of the Management Board from 2015 to 2019.
About his appointment as CEO of Messer, Bernd Eulitz had the following to say: “I would like to thank the Supervisory Board, and in particular Stefan Messer, for the confidence they have placed in me. Stefan Messer has been shaping the company for decades, helping to make it what it is today: a financially healthy and highly respected global firm that is shaped by family – a company whose success is due not least to its sound fundamental values. This puts us in an excellent position for the years ahead to maintain our incomparable corporate culture and financial health as we implement an ambitious growth strategy that allows us – the biggest privately owned company worldwide in the industry – to be the most dynamic challenger to the major corporations in our industry.”
Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, who had been the Chairman of Messer’s Supervisory Board ever since the company voluntarily founded this body in 2004 and who will continue to serve the company in an advisory capacity, said that: “Over the past two decades, Messer has become a real success story among the ranks of Germany's family-run companies. I’m certain that the strong alliance between the Messer family and the firm’s Management Board will lead Messer into an innovative and financially sound future.”