Ralf Schmid retiring as Uniwheels CEO, will chair supervisory board

Company founder Ralf Schmid is retiring from daily operative duties and joins the Uniwheels supervisory board

Wheel manufacturer Uniwheels AG has named Thomas Buchholz its new chief executive officer. The chief automotive officer and management board deputy chairman succeeds company founder Ralf Schmid, who will become chairman of Uniwheels’ supervisory board.

After serving as managing partner for almost 20 years and holding operational responsibility for the company’s wheels business for more than 26 years, yesterday (18 January) Schmid announced his intention to resign as member of the Uniwheels management board, with the resignation taking effect 21 January. The incumbent chief executive officer expressed a wish to take on a role on the supervisory board, and therefore will take over from Beata Olejnik as chair; in this capacity he will primarily be in charge, together with other supervisory and management board members, of the group’s strategic development and further growth.

Uniwheels Holding (Malta) Ltd., which is owned by Ralf and Michael Schmid, will remain the majority shareholder in the Uniwheels Group and continue to hold a 61.3 per cent share. The remaining free float 38.7 per cent shareholding is traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Dr Thomas Buchholz takes over as CEO

Dr Thomas Buchholz takes over as CEO

As of 21 January, former Automotive Division management board member Dr Thomas Buchholz will take on chairmanship of the Uniwheels AG management board. The suppliers division he heads is responsible for around 85 per cent of Uniwheels’ business volume. The remaining 15 per cent is generated by the accessory division, which will be represented on the management board by Dr Karsten Obenaus.

“The strong growth and the sustained development of our company to a now listed group are now also reflected in the future composition of the management board and the supervisory board,” said Ralf Schmid. “I am convinced that the appointment of Dr Buchholz as chairman of the management board and Dr Obenaus as CFO (Obenaus has held this position since February 2014) will be perfect for our management board. With this team, the management board of Uniwheels AG has two very experienced experts in the automotive supply industry. Our group is therefore in a very good position for the upcoming tasks with regard to the planned further growth. In addition, Dr Buchholz has been able to successfully expand the automotive division since his appointment as head of this division: The order book is therefore well filled for the future, the already very broad customer base has further grown and we’ve been able to continue to develop our position as supplier in the premium sector.

“The new position as chairman of the supervisory board also allows me to support the strategic direction and the development of Uniwheels AG more effectively due to the future relief from the daily operative tasks,” Schmid added.

The Uniwheels AG management and supervisory boards have also stated their confidence in the company’s further business development in the light of the aforementioned full order books and the continuing good economic outlook for the upcoming financial year. The company considers its recently concluded 2015 financial year to be by far the best year in its history in regards to sales, turnover and profitability. Preliminary absolute figures for last year will be published later this month, with the final results out in March.

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