Peter Bettermann, who has been Speaker of the Management Board and General Partner of Freudenberg & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Weinheim, Germany, for many years, officially handed over responsibility to his successor, Dr. Mohsen Sohi on July 1, 2012. In line with the long-term orientation at Freudenberg, the decision to appoint Sohi had already been taken at a meeting of the Board of Partners in June 2011. In recent months, Sohi had taken on responsibility for strategic development and portfolio management as well as for central, corporate functions. Before he joined the Freudenberg Management Board in 2010, Sohi was president and CEO of Freudenberg NOK General Partnership, Plymouth, MI.
Bettermann will be taking retirement effective from June 30, following 18 years on the Management Board. Throughout his time in office—and as the first speaker to be appointed from outside the Freudenberg family—since 1997 Bettermann has continued the international and liberal alignment of the 163-year-old family-owned company. Today, the Freudenberg Group is operational in 58 countries and employs more than 37,000 people.
Sohi is the first U.S. citizen to assume the role of Speaker of the Management Board. His aim is to continue the course of profitable and sustainable growth consistent with Freudenberg's usual sound financial approach. To achieve this, Sohi wants to move forward at a faster pace in five business areas using the company's "Buy and Build" strategy: electroplating, medical technology, oil and gas, industrial filtration for liquids and gas, as well as vibration control for rail vehicles, wind turbines, agricultural and construction machinery.
The Management Board also wants to continue investing in Freudenberg's established businesses. Additionally, the company's activities in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China will be strengthened. High on the agenda for the Speaker of the Management Board are global Human Resources—especially the encouragement of talented associates and the issue of diversity.
Dr. Ralf Krieger, who joined the Management Board in October 2011, has already taken on Bettermann’s CFO responsibilities. These include the corporate functions of finance/M&A, tax, accounting and controlling and, additionally, the Freudenberg IT Business Group.
The Management Board now consists of a total of four members. Sohi, 53, has been a member of the Management Board since May 2010. He was formerly president and CEO at Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, USA. Before joining Freudenberg, he was chairman of the Management Board of the global store automation business of NCR Corporation and had also held various management positions at Allied-Signal and Honeywell. As president at Honeywell, he was responsible for the global electronic products business. Sohi studied mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri in Columbia, USA, and at the Washington University in St Louis, USA, where in 1989, he also received his doctorate. He obtained his MBA from the Wharton School of Management.
Before joining the Freudenberg Management Board, Krieger, 48, was COO of the Management Board at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Prior to this, he worked in various positions within the Freudenberg Group, including as Speaker and CFO of Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership and as CEO of Freudenberg IT. Krieger obtained a degree and doctorate in business administration from Mannheim University, Germany.
Christoph Mosmann, 50, joined the Management Board in July 2010 and is responsible for the global sealing business as well as the vibration control business for rail vehicles, wind turbines, agricultural and construction machinery. Mosmann, who has a degree in business administration, joined the Freudenberg Group in 1995. Before his appointment to the Management Board, he was chairman of the Management Board of EagleBurgmann, Germany, as well as chairman of the international EagleBurgmann Group.
Dr. Martin Stark, 51, is responsible for the global nonwovens and filter business, chemical specialties, mechatronics, medical technology, household products as well as for automotive vibration control technology. Stark, who has a doctorate in electrical engineering, has been a member of the Management Board since 2005. Prior to this, he was managing director of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co, Germany.