Nuremberg, August 11, 2014 – The Supervisory Board of GfK SE has appointed Christian Diedrich, 56, as Chief Financial Officer. His appointment will become effective on October 15, 2014. Christian Diedrich will succeed Pamela Knapp, who requested to end her employment contract with GfK SE before the end of her term for personal reasons. Knapp will hand over to Diedrich in October in order to allow for a seamless transition.
Dr. Arno Mahlert, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GfK SE, said: “I am delighted that our intensive search and selection process led to a new CFO who meets our high requirements. Christian Diedrich has 30 years of experience in all major aspects of finance on an international level, and as CFO he has successfully built and led international finance teams in highly competitive businesses. His great understanding of professional services and technology-focused environments are paired with his financial skills and in-depth knowledge of change management. These capabilities will be a great asset to further drive GfK’s business strategy towards digitization and globalization based on solid financial management.”
Matthias Hartmann, GfK’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “I very much welcome the decision of the Supervisory Board. I had the opportunity to work with Christian Diedrich before and was deeply impressed by his finance and leadership skills and his broad strategic perspective. His experience across Europe, the US and Asia fits perfectly to GfK’s global position. Christian Diedrich’s experience and his deep understanding of transformation will be a great contribution to the future success of GfK.”
Christian Diedrich, age 56, holds degrees in engineering and international management and has worked in the fields of finance and strategy since he joined IBM in 1984. He currently serves as Vice President International Corporate Development at IBM based in Shanghai, China, being responsible for M&A activities of IBM outside of the US. During his various senior roles in finance, strategy and M&A, he worked and lived in Europe, the US and Asia. His more recent roles include CFO for IBM Northeast Europe and CFO at IBM Germany.
Christian Diedrich, incoming CFO, added: “I look forward to working with the GfK Management Board and the GfK teams around the world to continue the successful transformation of the company into a true global player. I see great potential in providing customers with insightful data and analyses to make informed strategic decisions. I believe GfK is very well positioned to deliver on this customer need.”
Current CFO Pamela Knapp was appointed a member of the GfK’s Management Board in November 2009 in order to adapt the structure of the company to its highly internationalized business. “Pamela Knapp has played an instrumental role in formulating and driving the ‘One GfK’ strategy and thus in supporting the significant development of the company. During her tenure, she successfully implemented the global finance and HR functions and harmonized the company’s processes and systems, putting GfK in a stronger position today to deliver on its strategy. I would like to thank her for her commitment and an excellent job, and I wish her every success in the future,” said Dr. Arno Mahlert, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GfK SE.
Pamela Knapp added: “It has been a pleasure to work with the team at GfK over the last five years, and I am very proud of the successes we have achieved together. I believe I am leaving the company in a strong position and in very good hands and look forward to following its developments in the future. My intention is to focus more on my various supervisory board mandates in the coming years, and on my private life.”
The HR responsibility previously assigned to the CFO was allocated by the Supervisory Board to the CEO, Matthias Hartmann.
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