Vienna – Semperit AG Holding has appointed former Trelleborg director Kristian Brok to its executive board as chief operating officer and launched a new strategy for its Industrial Rubber unit.
Brok, who will take up his new role in January, is “a true specialist and industry insider,” group chairman Peter Edelmann said in a 20 Dec announcement.
Brok worked for Semperit’s competitor for ten years, most recently on the executive board of Trelleborg Sealing Solutions – responsible for its UK-headquartered ‘global operations elastomers’ unit.
At the Austrian rubber products maker, he will focus on the development of Semperit’s ‘lean programme’ as well as supply-chain management and the mixing business.
With Brok’s appointment, the Austrian group unveiled a new strategy for its Industrial Rubber sector, which will comprise four, instead of three, segments going forward.
Semperit’s ‘profiles’ and ‘rubber sheeting’ business units will be separated from the Semperform segment and operated as a segment of their own under the name SemperSeal from 1 Jan 2020.
This will leave Semperform to focus on handrails, sheave and bull-wheel liners for ropeways, ski foils and ‘engineered Solutions’, according to Semperit.
To successively reduce the group’s “high dependence on the European economic area, an expansion in North America is to be the first step,” the statement continued.
"We are expanding in one of the world’s largest economic zones by investing in local production,” stated Dr Martin Füllenbach, Chief executive officer of Semperit AG Holding.
The move, he said, will be accompanied by increased customer support in North America: “We are striving for proximity to our customers to be able to serve markets faster and more effectively."
Semperit is also forming a ‘customer excellence center’ unit to help it focus more on: undeveloped industries; digitization of its portfolio; and explore new product applications.
"We have by no means exhausted our opportunities to approach our customers with application-specific solutions, not only on a product-specific, but also on a regional basis,” said Füllenbach.
As recently announced, Semperit’s board is also continuing to review “various strategic options” for its Medical Sector.