Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer: Management change

Messer Group, the world’s largest owner-managed industrial gases specialist, is making a change in its management.At his own request, Dr Hans-Gerd Wienands, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2004, will be leaving his position effective 30 September 2018. He will join the Advisory Board at Messer Industries, a joint venture with CVC Capital Partners in which the Messer Group holds a majority share. Once the planned merger between Linde and Praxair is complete, the joint venture will be taking over the business units of Linde in America divested for antitrust reasons and also acquire the subsidiaries added to it from Messer Group in Western Europe.

Dr Uwe Bechtolf, who has been with the company since 1995 and responsible for controlling and accounting at Messer Group since 2004, will follow in Dr Wienands’ footsteps and take over management of Messer’s financial affairs and the areas of legal, insurance and taxes.

Ernst Bode, who has been with the company since 1988 and in charge of Messer’s activities in Serbia since 2005, will round out Messer Group’s Management Board as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). In future, he will be responsible for the operating functions in Europe as well as for the central functions of Safety and Environmental Protection, Production and Engineering, Logistics, IT, Digitalisation and IT Security.

Over the past years, working alongside owner and CEO Stefan Messer, Dr Hans-Gerd Wienands has contributed to charting the return of the Messer Group and the MEC Group to family hands, and to the strategic realignment of both corporate groups. Under their leadership Messer has managed to increase sales from 521 million to 1.232 billion euros since 2004. This is due in particular to Dr Wienands’ commitment to the successful development of business in China.