Karlsruhe. Following a painstaking selection process involving over 50 candidates, the Supervisory Board of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG reached a unanimous decision to approve a recommendation from the Personnel Committee and appoint Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen (39) to the position of Chairman of the Board of Management for a period of five years. Claassen will succeed Gerhard Goll (60), who is leaving the company at his own request when his contract expires in 2003.
The Supervisory Board believes that this choice will underpin the ongoing positive development of the EnBW Group in the years to come. The decision signals a change of generation at the helm of EnBW but is also geared toward ensuring continuation and consolidation of a successful corporate strategy.
Claassen has been Executive Board Chairman of Sartorius AG in Göttingen since April 1997. Before joining Sartorius, he held various management positions both in Germany and abroad at McKinsey & Co., Ford Europe, Volkswagen AG, and SEAT S.A. During his time with Volkswagen AG as Head of Controlling, Product Lines and deputy for the Board member responsible for controlling and accounting, he played a central role in the successful and broadly based introduction of the concepts of target costing and target investment and was responsible for product business planning. At SEAT, Claassen was Chief Financial Officer and the permanent representative of the Chairman of the Executive Board, and he made a major contribution to the successful implementation of the in-company restructuring programme. During his time as Executive Board Chairman of Sartorius, Claassen has implemented a fundamental change in the corporate culture and achieved an earnings turnaround within an extremely short space of time. While he has been in office, the company has doubled its sales revenues, recorded a substantial improvement in earnings potential, implemented a successful capital increase, taken over and integrated six companies, and redirected its strategic focus to the high-growth biotech market. Claassen, born on May 7, 1963 in Hannover, studied in Hannover and Oxford, holds a PhD from Hannover University, and is an honorary professor in Hannover as well as Chairman of the German Industry Association for Optical, Medical and Mechatronic Technologies (SPECTARIS).
Goll and Claassen will continue to perform their duties on their respective boards during the preparation and compilation of the 2002 financial statements for their companies. Claassen is then expected to take up office as new head of EnBW as of May 1, 2003 following the balance sheet press conference of Sartorius AG.
In financial 2001, the EnBW Group recorded sales of approx. EUR 7.9 billion in its Energy, Disposal, and Industry and Services business areas. The Group employed 44,500 people as of the end of 2001.