Martin Lehner, Chairman of the Executive Board, CEO and CTO of Wacker Neuson SE, has today informed the Supervisory Board, that he will not be extending his contract with the company, which expires on March 31, 2021, for personal reasons.
“The Supervisory Board of Wacker Neuson SE regrets Mr. Lehner’s decision and thanks him for his unwavering personal commitment. During his many years of successful work on the Executive Board, he has helped drive forward the Group’s internationalization and opened up new growth areas whilst continuously developing the corporate strategy together with the entire Executive Board. With the departure of Martin Lehner, Wacker Neuson Group is losing a valued CEO, who has shaped the company with his commitment, expertise and innovative drive. We wish Mr. Lehner all the best for the future,” says Hans Neunteufel, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Mr. Lehner will continue to be available to the Group in an advisory capacity until March 2021 in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Martin Lehner has worked for the Group and its predecessor companies since 1987. During the course of his more than 30-year career with the company, he has held various management positions and played a decisive role in successfully developing individual entities and merging them into a listed, global corporation. Prior to the merger of Wacker Construction Equipment AG and Neuson Kramer Baumaschinen AG in 2007, Mr. Lehner restructured the Kramer Group and was responsible for completely realigning it. In 2004, he became a member of the Executive Board of Neuson Kramer Baumaschinen AG. Following the merger, he was appointed to the Executive Board of the newly created Wacker Neuson SE and became Chairman in 2017.
As an innovation driver and technology expert, Mr. Lehner has played a key role in shaping the company. In 2014, Wacker Neuson launched its first fully electric light equipment product. This battery-powered rammer marked a step into unknown territory – not just for the Group, but for the industry as a whole. The Group’s zero emission product portfolio has expanded in recent years to include a wide range of products including vibratory plates, wheel loaders, dumpers and the first fully electric mini excavator, which was launched in 2020. “Martin Lehner’s outstanding technical knowledge, his keen instinct for innovation and his passion for construction equipment has helped make Wacker Neuson the technology leader it is today in the field of electric light and compact equipment,” adds Neunteufel. “Through his huge personal involvement in developing digital business models plus a wide range of further initiatives, Mr. Lehner has laid the foundation for the Wacker Neuson Group’s transition from a production-focused organization to a software-oriented company. This has put our Group on a very strong footing to face the challenges of the coming years.”
After reporting average growth rates of 11 percent over the course of the last ten years, the Wacker Neuson Group clearly deviated from its growth path in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By developing a new streamlined and agile management and organizational culture, Mr. Lehner has now helped make the Group even more robust and successful in the long term.
“I have spent many successful years at the Wacker Neuson Group. During this time, the organization has grown to become a leading manufacturer of light and compact equipment. Now, the time has come for me to focus on new tasks and challenges,” explains Martin Lehner. “I am extremely grateful that I have been able to help the Wacker Neuson Group on its path to becoming an internationally successful Group and technology leader. My special thanks go to the many colleagues who – with their passionate commitment and high level of identification with our company – have made my time at Wacker Neuson very valuable to me. I have always been passionate about areas of future significance such as zero emission construction equipment and digitalization and am particularly proud of the innovative drive that our Group has shown in these fields. I am sure that the team will continue to live this spirit in the future and wish them, as well as the entire group, every success. Last but not least, I would like to thank all our customers and business partners for their loyalty and trust. I am convinced that they will continue to be in good hands with Wacker Neuson also in the future.”
As of January 1, 2021, Mag. Kurt Helletzgruber (68), who has been seconded from the Supervisory Board to the Executive Board until June 30, 2021, will temporarily assume the executive responsibilities of the position of CEO and take on the position of Chairman of the Executive Board.
Mr. Helletzgruber has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Wacker Neuson SE since 2007 and held the position of CFO and CSO at Neuson Kramer Baumaschinen AG prior to the merger with Wacker Construction Equipment AG. Prof. Dr. Matthias Schüppen takes over as Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board of Wacker Neuson SE, which was held by Mr. Helletzgruber since 2010.