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New Emsland Group Management Board focuses on the Future
On a press conference held on January 15, a new management board officially announced the sudden staff changes at Emsland-Stärke GmbH.

Mr. Udo Hinkelmann presented himself to the regional press representatives and 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 the management of raw material procurement at the Emsland Group, was appointed as a new member of the management board.

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

Mr. Gebhard Bakker, a member of the Group’s supervisory board, also mentioned a steadily increasing loss of confidence and inconsistencies since the summer, in response to which Mr. Hinkelmann was appointed to the management board as a neutral third person.

As a consequence of goings-on that were uncovered and are currently being examined by a forensic department of the external auditors KPMG, longtime managing directors Mr. Hubert Eilting and Mr. Michael Schonert were released from duty. 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 employees as “Surprised, but with positive expectations regarding the future direction of the company.” Many of the more than 1,000 employees are apparently sure that operations will continue as usual and without substantive changes.

Mr. Wesselink also mentioned the very high level of confidence that he and Mr. Hinkelmann have met with thus far.

Further important personnel decisions saw longtime employees Stefan Hannemann, Stefan Joppich, Christian Kemper and Dr. Norbert Sdunnus being granted full power of attorney, with effect from January 7, 2015. The company is also still seeking another top management member to head the Finance division.

Mr. Hannemann again emphasized that staff 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 shouldered by all employees of Emsland Group.

Following the press conference, guests were given a tour of the newly built ‘Emsland Innovation Germany’ innovation center and were thus able to get a first-hand impression of the company’s strategic orientation.

The Emsland Group will also continue in the foreseeable future to be Germany’s largest producer of potato starch and a global leader in the manufacture of refined starch products, proteins, fibers, as well as potato flakes and granules in the international market.

Mr. Udo Hinkelmann

Udo Hinkelmann

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

Education and career of Mr. Hinkelmann

  • Business Economy study at the VWA
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree
  • Apprenticeship as an accountant
  • Study at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel; Degree in Financials and Estate Planning
  • CEO in the nutrition supplements and automotive industry for over 30 years

Mr. Gerrit-Jan Wesselink

Gerrit-Jan Wesselink

The board of directors appointed Mr. Gerrit-Jan Wesselink as a new chairman of the executive board on January 7th, 2015.

Education and career of Mr. Wesselink

  • Plant Production study in Dronten, Netherlands and the college Osnabrück in Germany; Completed with a qualified engineering degree
  • 2001 - 2003: employment at the agriculture family business in Ringe, Germany and Niew-Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • since 2003: Employee at Emsland-Stärke GmbH in the raw materials procurement segment
  • since 2005: Head of the raw materials procurement segment at Emsland Food GmbH
  • since 2008: Head of the raw materials procurement segment at Emsland-Stärke GmbH and Emsland Food GmbH