Gerresheimer CEO Christian Fischer leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than half a year in the position
  • Rainer Beaujean taking over in the interim

(exechange) — Düsseldorf, Germany, February 5, 2018 — Christian Fischer, chief executive of Gerresheimer, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Gerresheimer AG in a news release on Monday, February 5, 2018, Christian Fischer, Chief Executive Officer, leaves the maker of packaging products after less than half a year in the position, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first months.

Fischer’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Rainer Beaujean, currently Chief Financial Officer at Gerresheimer AG.

“Personal reasons”

Fischer’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Gerresheimer said: “Dr. Fischer has asked for an amicable premature termination of his services due to personal reasons. … The Supervisory Board has accepted such request.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing Fischer to leave the position, leaving room for speculation. Generally speaking, “personal reasons” may include, among others, family-related reasons or health reasons.

Precise information about Fischer’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for investors when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Leave the Company”

Gerresheimer said: “Dr. Christian Fischer, Chairman of the Management Board of Gerresheimer AG, will leave the Company with immediate effect.”

“Not based on diverging views”

“Such decision is not based on diverging views regarding the strategy or business performance of the Company,” Gerresheimer said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Chaired by Axel Herberg

Gerresheimer AG is chaired by Axel Herberg.

He joined the Gerresheimer Group in 1992. From 1996 onwards, Herberg was a member of the Management Board and CEO between 2000 and 2010. 2010 until 2017 he was Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group Germany GmbH and was for the Blackstone group responsible for private equity business for German-speaking regions of Europe. Since then he is Senior Advisor and Chairman Germany of the Blackstone Group.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Christian Fischer has been Member of Management Board and Chief Executive Officer at Gerresheimer AG since August 1, 2017 and September 1, 2017 respectively.

Since September 2017 Prof. Dr. Christian Fischer was Chief Executive Officer of Gerresheimer AG.

He worked at BASF since 1993.

Having started his career as a laboratory team leader, he was Deputy Division Manager, Global Marketing Director and Sales Director in different plastic divisions.

As Group Vice President, Fine Chemicals Asia Pacific based in Hongkong from 2004 to 2008 he was responsible for the production and business of products for the pharma, cosmetics, aroma, animal and human nutrition industries.

2008 to 2014 he was responsible as President for Advanced Materials and Systems Research of BASF SE.

From 2015 to March 2017 he held as President Performance Chemicals the overall responsibility for polymer additives, fuel and lubricant additives, mining, oilfield, water, paper and leather with approximately 5000 employees worldwide.

Christian Fischer holds a diploma degree in Chemistry (University of Regensburg) and a PhD in Chemistry.

He also holds a degree in Business Administration (VWA Mannheim).

In 2014, he was appointed honorary professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

At the time of Fischer’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Gerresheimer, Axel Herberg, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gerresheimer AG, had said: “In Dr. Christian Fischer, we have gained an outstanding leader as CEO. He brings with him 24 years of industry experience and has demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive in various roles at BASF, both in Germany and abroad. Over the past few years, Gerresheimer has refined its strategic focus, made successful acquisitions and divestments, and established numerous operational initiatives – these will ensure a smooth and seamless transition.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Gerresheimer, Fischer had said: “Gerresheimer AG is a highly successful, international company and a trusted partner to the pharma and healthcare industry. I am looking forward to my new role in this exciting company and market.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Christian Fischer’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 7.2018 ($).