March 5 2019  |  Retailers

Gebr Heinemann announces regional structure to strengthen global strategy

By Mary Jane Pittilla


Pictured from left: Raoul Spanger, Gunnar Heinemann, Stephan Ernst, Max Heinemann, Claus Heinemann and Kay Spanger

For the first time in its 139-year history, family-owned duty free operator Gebr Heinemann has announced major structural changes across its entire organization “to enable and strengthen global agility and overall strategy”.

As the company transitions to the fifth generation, Max Heinemann, son of Co-owner Gunnar Heinemann, will take over the role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group and will become Speaker of the Executive Board.

His father, Gunnar Heinemann, and uncle Claus Heinemann will continue to form the Advisory Board of the family business.

Max Heinemann will be responsible for global human resources, corporate development and strategy, and corporate affairs.

Heading Gebr Heinemann’s worldwide activities, the Executive Board will be completed by Raoul Spanger (Chief Operations Officer), responsible for steering the group’s sales, partner and customer portfolios and the development of the operational business in all countries across all channels.

Kay Spanger (Chief Commercial Officer) will be responsible for market-specific product ranges and the management of all cross-divisional commercial and logistical services, and Stephan Ernst (Chief Financial Officer) will oversee the group’s financial independence and integrity as well as the provision of system-based process support and solutions.

In a press release, the company explained that the goal was to “work even closer to the market, even faster and more efficiently”.

Max Heinemann said: “We are introducing the new C-level structure and implementing structural changes without being forced to do so. We do not react to external changes – or external market drivers that force us to adapt.”

Claus Heinemann, Co-Owner of Gebr Heinemann, added: “What matters most is our direction in shaping the next generation, fit for the future, fit for shaping duty free and travel retail.”

For his part, Gunnar Heinemann remarked: “What makes us unique is that we change with a growth mindset and in full alignment with our 139-year history. This is a strong foundation for rethinking and changing. The driver for change is we, ourselves. And we act out of strength.“

The structural change stands for global growth, sensible synergies and sustainability, the company said.

It is fueled by the creation of one central sales area with former distribution and retail under the COO, divided into four major geographical divisions, headed by four Vice Presidents: Florian Seidel (VP Nordics, Central & Western Europe); Richard Hoyer (VP EECA, Near East, Turkey & Africa); Marvin von Plato (VP/CEO Asia Pacific); and Nadine Heubel (VP/CEO The Americas).”

This new regional structure will further enable the global thinking and direction of the company, it added.

In addition, the company will introduce a new Vice President Purchasing position under the Chief Commercial Officer, which aims to further strengthen and support the strategic management and activities across all categories globally.

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