Media Release Changes in Personnel | Ad hoc announcement pursuant to article 53 LR | March 17, 2022
· Dieter Weisskopf to step down as Group CEO towards the end of the year 2022 due to retirement
· The Board of Directors appoints Group Management member Adalbert Lechner as his successor
· Long-term continuity at the top management of the Group is guaranteed
Kilchberg, March 17, 2022 - Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG announces that Dr. Dieter Weisskopf, will step down from his current position as Group Chief Executive Officer towards the end of the year due to retirement. At the same time, the Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Adalbert Lechner, CEO of the German subsidiary and member of the Group Management, as the new Group CEO. The Board of Directors will then propose the election of Dr. Dieter Weisskopf as a new member of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on April 28, 2022.
Dieter Weisskopf steps down as Group CEO and will be proposed as new member of the Board of Directors at the upcoming Annual General Meeting
After a successful 27-year career in the Group Management of Lindt & Sprüngli – including six years as CEO and previously as CFO – Dieter Weisskopf has decided to step down from his position as Group CEO towards the end of the year. The Board of Directors proposes him for election as a new member of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on April 28, 2022.
Ernst Tanner, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented: "Dieter Weisskopf has contributed significantly to the success of our Group. Under his leadership, the company recorded a successful and sustainable performance. Over the past six years, he and the management team have positioned the Group very well for future global challenges, both strategically and organizationally, as well as in the important area of sustainability. The balance sheet and income statement have been further strengthened, and regions with faster growth have been expanded. All the prerequisites for a continuation of our success story have thus been met. I am extremely pleased that we can continue to count on Dieter Weisskopf's support as a member of the Board of Directors."
"Lindt & Sprüngli is in very good shape, so this is an ideal time to hand over the leadership to new hands," says Dieter Weisskopf. "I look back with pride and much pleasure on my many years of service to the Group and look forward to leading the company until towards the end of the year, continuing to accompany Lindt & Sprüngli as a member of the Board of Directors and devoting myself to new entrepreneurial activities."
Adalbert Lechner becomes new Group CEO
The Group's new CEO will be the long-time CEO of the German subsidiary as well as Group Management member Adalbert Lechner. He joined the Lindt & Sprüngli Group in 1993. First as CEO of the Austrian subsidiary, then in 1997 he was appointed CEO of the German subsidiary. Under his leadership, the German subsidiary has developed into the largest company of the Group with extremely successful track record. He was a member of the Extended Group Management from 2011 until 2016. As of January 1, 2017 Adalbert Lechner is member of the Group Management and responsible, in addition to managing Lindt Germany, for the development of our northern and eastern Europe markets as well as the Global Retail/On-Line division.
With this forward-looking succession planning at the top management of the Group, Lindt & Sprüngli is consistently continuing the long-term orientation of the company. Based on the long-standing and successful cooperation between Ernst Tanner and Adalbert Lechner, continuity, which plays an important role in the Lindt & Sprüngli Group, will be ensured and the course towards a prosperous future will be continued.
"I am very much looking forward to my new role as CEO of the Group and would like to thank the Board of Directors for their trust," says Adalbert Lechner. "Dieter Weisskopf hands over the company to me in excellent shape and expectations for the future development are high. I am happy to accept this challenge, as I can rely on an outstanding Management Team."
Ernst Tanner said: "I am proud of what the Management Team together with over 14,000 passionate and dedicated employees has achieved over the past decades and I am looking forward to a successful future. Thanks to our strong culture we have built a solid foundation to further strengthen our position as the world's leading premium chocolate company. I am very pleased that our company can hand over the CEO responsibilities to Adalbert Lechner, who will together with the Group Management and my support continue our success story."
The transition of responsibilities as well as the appropriate adjustments of the Group Management structure will be effective until the end of this year.
Next publication: Semi-annual results 2022 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at 07:00 a.m.
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About Lindt & Sprüngli
Lindt & Sprüngli has been enchanting the world with chocolate for over 175 years. The traditional Swiss company with its roots in Zurich is a global leader in the premium chocolate sector. Today, Lindt & Sprüngli produces quality chocolates at its 11 factories in Europe and the USA. Its products are sold by 31 subsidiaries and regional offices, in around 500 of its own shops as well as via a network of more than 100 independent distributors around the globe. With more than 14,000 employees, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group reported sales of CHF 4.59 billion in 2021.