New KUKA supervisory board holds first meeting / Dr. Till Reuter elected chairman
KUKA AG's Supervisory Board unanimously elected Dr. Till Reuter as its new chairman
21 September, 2009
The newly constituted board met for the first time on September 20 and 21.
Dr. Reuter is an advisor of major shareholder Grenzebach and supervisory board chairman of Swiss holding company RINVEST AG, which itself holds a 1.9 percent stake in KUKA and coordinates with Grenzebach on matters of exercising its shareholder rights.
"I thank all Supervisory Board members for their confidence and look forward to working with the board. Given the challenges we face, I will work hard to ensure that shareholders and employees work well together and that their efforts are directed toward a common goal," said Dr. Reuter.
Jürgen Kerner, First Secretary of IG Metall in Augsburg remains the Supervisory Board's deputy chairman.
Prior to the meeting, the Magistrate's Court Augsburg had on September 18, in accordance with article 104 of the Stock Corporation Act, appointed the successors of the four Supervisory Board members Dr. Rolf Bartke, Dr. Reiner Beutel, Dr. Helmut Leube and Dr. Herbert Meyer, who had announced their resignations on September 3. As a result of the court appointment, the Supervisory Board again has the legal minimum of twelve members. The employee representatives on the Supervisory Board did not change.
Three of the four vacant Supervisory Board memberships were filled on the recommendation of Dr. Reuter, already a member of KUKA's Supervisory Board since the end of April 2009. Prof. Dirk Abel, PhD, Director of the Control Engineering department at Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technischen Hochschule (RWTH Aachen University) will bring to the table his expertise in the field of automation and help KUKA penetrate new growth industries. Prof. Uwe Loos, Ph.D., former head of production at Porsche AG and CEO of FAG Kugelfischer AG was appointed to the Supervisory Board for his knowledge of the automotive sector. Dr. Uwe Ganzer was named head of the audit committee. He has been the sole executive manager of Varta AG since 2003, supervising the sale of its corporate entities.
Mr. Guy Wyser-Pratte was appointed by the court to the fourth vacant seat at his own proposal. With a 9.7 percent stake, Mr. Wyser-Pratte is KUKA AG's second-largest shareholder.
At its most recent meeting, the Supervisory Board also appointed new members to its committees. The personnel committee, which is responsible for appointing new Executive Board members, will in future consist of Dr. Till Reuter, Jürgen Kerner, Bernd Minning and Fritz Seifert.
The search for successors to CEO Dr. Horst J. Kayser and CFO Dr. Matthias J. Rapp, who will both leave KUKA AG as of September 30, 2009, is at an advanced stage. The new personnel committee will soon hold talks with the potential candidates for the Executive Board positions who remain in the running following a structured search. The personnel committee will ensure that any vacancies on the Executive Board are duly filled by 1 October 2009.
Brief profile of Dr. Till Reuter
Dr. Till Reuter, born May 1968, advises the Grenzebach family in regard to its participation in KUKA AG. In addition, he directly owns 1.9 percent of KUKA shares via his Swiss holding company RINVEST AG.
Reuter comes from a midsized family company in Rheingau. He completed a double degree in law and business administration at the University of St. Gallen and University of Konstanz. He was subsequently awarded a doctorate in St. Gallen. During the early years of his career he worked as a lawyer in New York, São Paulo and Frankfurt, last at the well-known international law firm Shearman & Sterling. He subsequently worked for ten years in investment banking at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers, before founding his own company, RINVEST AG, in May 2008. The holding company had capital commitments of nearly 100 million US dollars right out of the starting gate from private and institutional investors. RINVEST invests in strategic minority shareholdings of listed companies. In 2007, he founded a "Best Buddies" branch in Switzerland. The international organization's objective is to socially integrate people who have an intellectual handicap.