Blanco Professional changes leadership

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Blanco Professional’s new look management team: Michael Huber, Bernd Rupprecht and Egon Kofler.

Blanco Professional has changed up its management team, with Egon Kofler taking over from Roland Spleiss as CEO and Bernd Rupprecht assuming the post of director/head of sales at the manufacturer’s catering business unit.

Kofler will manage the Oberderdingen, Germany-based company group together with chief operating officer Michael Huber.

He has more than 33 years of international professional experience in Blanc & Fischer family holding sub-groups, including EGO subsidiaries in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey. EGO and Blanco Professional both form part of the Blanc & Fischer group. Most recently, Kofler implemented restructuring as CEO of the Italian Defendi Group, a manufacturer of gas components for white goods.

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Dr Johannes Haupt, CEO of the Blanc & Fischer family holding, affirms: “Egon Kofler has already shown at different EGO subsidiaries that he is capable of steering companies out of difficult situations and back on course for success. Having held positions in our group of companies in the past, he is very familiar with the group and also has close family ties with Oberderdingen. Consequently, we believe that he meets all requirements to make Blanco Professional successful again.”

Kofler commented: “I immediately accepted when the invitation came. Together with Blanco Professional’s dynamic team, I’d like to develop the company further in terms of structure on a lasting basis and create a solid foundation for a successful future.”

He will be supported in this task by Rupprecht, who will be responsible for overall sales in the catering business unit. Rupprecht takes over from Frederikus de Leeuw, who left the company in October.

An industrial engineering graduate, Rupprecht has many years of sales experience in both structural alignment and operational implementation with a focus on clear structures and a goal-oriented organisation. He was previously director/head of sales electronic surface cooking at EGO Elektro-Geräte AG in Switzerland and was responsible for the Southern Europe, Middle East and South America sales regions.

New CEO Kofler commented: “With Bernd Rupprecht, we are gaining an experienced manager with international sales experience and in-depth technological knowledge. Together, we will be able to provide a significant boost to further development in the catering business unit.”

Rupprecht himself concurred: “In cooperation with the management board and a dynamic team, we’ll drive Blanco Professional’s transformation forward. We will work together to develop the catering business unit further, successfully positioning it for the future with new technologies for new requirements to inspire the next generation of customers.”

The new CEO’s paramount task will be to implement a collective restructuring agreement concluded in early October, which has been in force since 8 October and will run until 31 December 2023. The company’s management board negotiated the agreement with the Works Council and IG Metall trade union with involvement from the Südwestmetall employers’ association. Up to 100 jobs will be cut at the Oberderdingen site as a consequence. Socially responsible solutions will be sought during this process.

The Blanco Professional Group believes this measure has become necessary due to its fragile financial situation. In the fiscal year 2019, 698 employees generated sales of €121m, only half a percent more than in the previous year. The firm cited the impact of the coronavirus epidemic making such a restructuring agreement essential.

Kofler commented: “We find ourselves in a difficult situation in an extremely challenging year. However, this situation also opens up opportunities. No matter how tough the cuts are, we remain convinced that we are paving the way for enduring success in the mid-term. We can and will achieve this together.”

The main objective is to create a competitive organisation by reducing structural and human resources costs among other things. Sales also is to be restructured. The product portfolio, business fields and target groups will be focused on and the catering and industrial business units are to operate largely independently in future.

“We are making major cuts now so that we can return to normality in an assured future as quickly as possible,” confirmed Kofler, qualifying the current measures and stressing that no further job cuts are planned.

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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