Expanded management team for the next growth steps

KRATZER AUTOMATION AG sets course for future activities with two new Executive Board members

Munich, July 2015. In July 2015 the Supervisory Board of KRATZER AUTOMATION AG appointed two new members to the company's Executive Board: Andreas Pötz is new CFO and responsible with immediate effect for the operative finances of KRATZER AUTOMATION's two business units. Sibylle Pessall, née Kratzer, takes over the position of CIO and as such is responsible for all the company's central administrative functions. The two business units, Test Systems and Logistics Automation, continue to be headed by the COOs, Detlef Naundorf and Robert Rubner. Robert Rubner as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will continue to coordinate the work of the managing board in the future. Company founder Gerhard Kratzer, previously CFO, remains a member of the extended management team.


"There are two main reasons for the expansion of the Executive Board at the present time," says Gerhard Kratzer. "On the one hand the company has grown considerably in recent years and has developed into an international key player in two key markets. We therefore wish to strengthen the commercial and administrative structures in order to be able to make the processes more efficient for the ever more expansive and more complex global business. On the other hand the expansion of the Executive Board is also linked to the generation change in our family-owned business. The founder generation has gradually retired from the operative business in the last few years. We have now found a good solution for the future that bundles the competence of experienced external specialists and the responsibility of the owner family in an interdisciplinary team."


The two new Executive Board members have already been with the company for several years. In 2013 Andreas Pötz had taken over responsibility as Executive Director for the control of the commercial processes at KRATZER AUTOMATION. Sibylle Pessall joined the company in 2009 and from her managerial position in the administrative division concentrated on the optimisation of internal tools and functions.


Both Andreas Pötz and Sibylle Pessall bring with them extensive professional qualifications and leadership qualities for their new duties. After studying business management, Andreas Pötz was first employed in Controlling at Siemens AG before going on to gain international experience in various management positions at Infineon. One of his stations was in the board of management of the Swedish subsidiary of Infineon. In 2007 he moved to the international lighting technology group, Zumtobel, where in addition to his function as Director Controlling he introduced a pan-European pricing management system. Before joining KRATZER AUTOMATION Andreas Pötz was Director Group Controlling for AIXTRON, a special machine engineering company for the production of semiconductors.


In his new function as CFO of KRATZER AUTOMATION AG, the 43-year old takes on overall responsibility for the operative finances and will look after aspects such as the controlling of the projects, profit centres and business units, the further development of the procurement processes and the contract management with customers and suppliers.


Andreas Pötz speaking about his goals for the future: "The ongoing optimisation of the internal processes is an important element for lasting success as a growing company. I wish to transfer my experience of how established companies are organised and oriented to the achievement of further goals to KRATZER AUTOMATION. In recent years I have been intensively involved in topics such as the restructuring of business processes and targeted corporate management. I now wish to follow this up and at executive board level make a major contribution to the successful future of KRATZER AUTOMATION.

After studying financial and business mathematics Sibylle Pessall first worked for the software company, transVer, that is specialised in the modelling and optimisation of road traffic engineering. She then spent several years with a leading auditing company and gained experience there in the auditing of the annual financial statements of internationally operating technology companies. As CIO of KRATZER AUTOMATION the 34-year old will in future be responsible for all the company's administrative functions and processes – from HR management and IT systems through financial accounting and annual financial statements through to facility management.


Sibylle Pessall speaking about her new scope of duties: "The founder generation has established a sound company that is extremely successful particularly on the German market. The great challenge for the coming years and decades is the internationalisation of the company. We want to become as successful internationally in our markets as we already are in Germany. In order to achieve this, not only the products but also the structures have to be geared to face the international challenges. At the same time, however, the existing corporate culture of openness and trust has to be maintained."


The daughter of company founder, Gerhard Kratzer, is looking forward to her new role for which she has been preparing herself in recent years through a targeted sharing of duties and intensive know-how transfer with her father: "The next generation is taking over with the goal of continuing the profitable growth of the past decades. It is my defined objective to further the internationalisation and to be able to hand over a globally successful corporate group at the new change of generations."


All the members of the extended Executive Board at KRATZER AUTOMATION will work closely together in the future. Andreas Pötz as CFO will head the Test Systems and Logistics Automation business units together with the COOs, Detlef Naundorf and Robert Rubner, and support the two technically orientated board members with his commercial expertise. Sibylle Pessall and Andreas Pötz will work together in further developing the internal processes in order to create the basis for further international growth.


As CEO Robert Rubner will continue in future to coordinate the work of the management team, and is looking forward to the new constellation on the Executive Board: "Two personalities who with their competence and dynamism have already proved in recent years that they can give our company a big boost. I am looking forward to working with the two new Executive Board members!"


"With the extended Executive Board, KRATZER AUTOMATION is outstandingly structured to face the future," summarises Gerhard Kratzer. "Especially present-day challenges such as digitisation demand holistic solutions and constructive teamwork from the Executive Board through to Engineering. The digital processes are becoming more and more the neural network of the company and will be absolutely crucial for our efficiency and competitiveness in the coming years."





KRATZER AUTOMATION AG was founded in 1980 by Gerhard Kratzer and Paul Balz as Gerhard Kratzer GmbH, Automatisierungstechnik München. From the outset the company focused on creating industrial, process-related software, in the founder years, for example, for the operations control centre of Ruhrgas AG. The automation of engine test beds at SHELL and BMW Motorsport was soon to follow. The company supports the ADAC in optimising its breakdown service fleet through the use of mobile data communications. In the early 1990s, KRATZER AUTOMATION was transformed from a pure software company into a general contractor offering an end-to-end service. KRATZER AUTOMATION offers tailored solutions from the consultancy through the implementation and maintenance right up to financing. In 1999 the company was converted into a 'family stock corporation' in which the employees, management staff and founder families all have a shareholding. In 2013 Gerhard Kratzer transferred to the position of CEO to Robert Rubner and has since concentrated on the duties as CFO. Detlef Naundorf becomes a member of the Executive Board, increasing the board to now three members. In July 2015 Sibylle Pessall was appointed CIO and Andreas Pötz as CFO to the Executive Board with Gerhard Kratzer continuing to act as consultant.



For more than 30 years the software company KRATZER AUTOMATION has been supplying process-related solutions to the international automotive industry and the transport sector in Europe.
In the Test Systems business unit, KRATZER AUTOMATION plans and produces test systems for automotive development, predominantly for engines, turbochargers, gearboxes and other powertrain components. A major focus here is on test systems for energy-saving and eco-friendly drive concepts, with a particular concentration on the demands of hybrid or electric drives, battery and fuel cell technology.
With cadis, the operational TMS, KRATZER AUTOMATION's Logistics Automation business unit offers a transport management system for the planning, execution and analysis of all operative work processes for freight transport. Consignment tracking and optimisation of the processes in modern logistics companies are the central themes here.



KRATZER AUTOMATION currently has a staff of approx. 300 employees at the sites in Munich, Stuttgart, Kassel and Wolfsburg. The company is internationally engaged with corporations in France, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and China. Among the customers of KRATZER AUTOMATION are companies such as: BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Ford, MAN, Porsche, Umicore, VOLVO and VW (Test Systems), bpost, Geodis, DB Schenker, GEFCO, IDS Logistik, Norbert Dentressangle, John Lewis, Österreichische Post AG (Logistics Automation) Rhenus Logistics and the Geis Group.


For 35 years, KRATZER AUTOMATION AG has been attaching importance to financial independence and long-standing relations with employees, customers and suppliers.

The company meets its social responsibility in a variety of ways. Support for local and supra-regional youth development projects, and the offer of an art award for artists with mental disability round out the company's social commitment.

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