Emsland Group’s new board of directors focuses on the future

At a press conference held on January 15, a new board of directors officially announced the sudden personnel changes at Emsland-Stärke GmbH.

Mr. Udo Hinkelmann introduced himself to the representatives of the regional press and to the NDR as the new chairman of Beteiligungsgesellschaft Emsland-Stärke AG and managing director of Emsland-Starke GmbH and its subsidiaries.

In addition, Mr. Gerrit-Jan Wesselink, previously responsible for raw material supply management of the Emsland Group, has been appointed as a new member of the board of directors.

As to the reasons for the personnel changes, Mr. Hinkelmann pointed out that there had been irregularities in the operational processes.

Mr. Gebhard Bakker, a member of the group’s supervisory board, also spoke of a loss of trust and ever-increasing inconsistencies since the summer, in response to which Mr. Hinkelmann was appointed to the management board as a neutral third party.

As a result of events which have been uncovered and are currently being investigated by a forensic department of external auditors KPMG, the long-serving Managing Directors, Mr. Hubert Eilting and Mr. Michael Schonert, have been removed from their positions. The intensive examination of the facts will take about two to three months according to Hinkelmann.

Mr Bertold Reiners, representing the works council, described the reaction of the employees as “surprised, but with positive expectations regarding the future direction of the company”. Many of the more than 1,000 employees are apparently confident that operations will continue as usual and without substantial changes.

Mr. Wesselink also mentioned the very high level of trust that he and Mr. Hinkelmann have encountered so far.

Other significant personnel decisions saw long-time employees Stefan Hannemann, Stefan Joppich, Christian Kemper and Dr. Norbert Sdunnus granted full power of attorney, effective January 7, 2015. The company is also still is looking for another senior executive to lead the Finance division. .

Mr. Hannemann again stressed that the personnel changes will not affect the strategic direction of the company, as the strategy has been developed over many years and responsibility for it has been shared by all Emsland Group employees. .

After the press conference, the guests were able to visit the new innovation center “Emsland Innovation Germany” and thus get a direct idea of ​​the strategic direction of the company.

The Emsland Group will also continue for the foreseeable future to be the largest German producer of potato starch and a world leader in the manufacture of refined starch, protein, fiber products, as well as flakes and potato pellets in the international market.

Mr. Udo Hinkelmann

Mr. Udo Hinkelmann is the new chairman of the management board of the Emsland-Stärke AG holding company and CEO of its subsidiaries since 1 December 2014.

Education and career of Mr. Hinkelmann

  • Study of Business Economics at VWA
  • Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA)
  • Apprenticeship as an accountant
  • Study at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel; Bachelor in Finance and Estate Planning
  • CEO in the dietary supplements and automotive industry for over 30 years

Mr Gerrit-Jan Wesselink

The Board of Directors appointed Mr. Gerrit-Jan Wesselink as the new Chairman of the Management Board on January 7, 2015.

Education and career of Mr. Wesselink

  • plant production studies in Dronten, the Netherlands and at the Osnabrück college in Germany; Graduated with a qualified engineering degree
  • 2001 – 2003: employment in the family agricultural business in Ringe, Germany and Niew-Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • since 2003: Employee at Emsland-Stärke GmbH in the area of ​​raw material procurement
  • since 2005: head of the raw material supply segment at Emsland Food GmbH
  • since 2008: head of the raw material supply segment at Emsland-Stärke GmbH and Emsland Food GmbH