Rational’s influential CEO, Dr. Gunter Blaschke, is stepping down at the end of the year, the company has revealed.
Blaschke will leave his post on 31 December, bringing an end to his 17-year association with the German combi oven manufacturer. He has served as CEO since 1999 and prior to that was a member of the executive board.
Rational said the decision was taken by “mutual agreement”.
While competitors will no doubt look to seize upon one of the biggest managerial changes in Rational’s history, the company has already moved to ensure stability by appointing a successor from within the business.
From 1 January 2014, Rational’s current chief human resources officer, Dr. Peter Stadelmann, will take over as CEO of the company.
Blaschke, meanwhile, won’t cut all ties with Rational upon his exit. He confirmed he would continue to support the executive board in an “advisory capacity” and backed the man taking over the reins from him.
“’I am delighted that, in the shape of Dr. Stadelmann, an experienced and highly qualified leadership personality has been appointed my successor, who I will be glad to advise where I can,” he said.
Blaschke can certainly leave with his head held high, having overseen Rational’s growth into a global foodservice equipment powerhouse with a market share in some countries, including the UK, of more than 50%.
Figures released earlier this month show that Rational’s sales in the first nine months of 2013 increased 4% to €329m (£275m). By the end of the year, its turnover should be well over €450m (£376m) based on current growth projections.
Siegfried Meister, chairman of the supervisory board of Rational, paid tribute to what Blaschke has achieved during his time in the post.
“With entrepreneurial vision and commitment, Dr. Blaschke turned Rational into one of the most successful companies listed on the German Stock Exchange,” he said. “For this he deserves my unreserved recognition, my special esteem and my sincere thanks.”