Signs of change

Signs of change

When the decision was announced, most of those present were surprised. During the annual Global Management Meeting, Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA, announced that all four of ALTANA’s divisions would have new presidents. The heads of each of the four divisions – BYK, ECKART, ELANTAS, and ACTEGA – took over the helm of another respective division on November 1, 2012. It was an extraordinary measure serving one main goal: We want to be leading in everything we do.

With the rotation at divisional president level, ALTANA sent a signal through its top management that it is willing to change. ALTANA stands for innovation and flexibility. Change has always characterized the company's history and made a key contribution to its success.

Strengthening knowhow transfer and innovativeness

The rotation of the division presidents is also intended to lead to an increased willingness to change on other levels. The company’s ability to change must be coupled with a willingness to change on the part of every single employee, so that we can continue down our successful path. “This realignment of the divisions' presidents will provide ALTANA with new growth prospects and help further enhance the use of potential synergies,” said Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA, after the announcement was made. “And we are firmly convinced that great transparency with respect to personnel and ideas will strengthen the knowhow transfer and ALTANA’s innovative ability.”

What does the rotation mean in concrete terms? The former division president of BYK, Dr. Roland Peter, became the president of ACTEGA, formerly headed by Dr. Guido Forstbach, who in turn switched to ELANTAS. From ELANTAS, Dr. Wolfgang Schütt went to ECKART, while the latter’s previous president, Dr. Christoph Schlünken, took over the leadership of BYK. Changes in the responsibilities of managers have long been commonplace, an important element of every  organizational and managerial development. But it is unusual for all of the presidents of a company’s divisions to swap their posts at the same time.

Only those who change stay true to themselves

In spite of all the changes taking place, ALTANA has retained that which has proven itself – the decentralized positioning of the divisions. It is this market-oriented structure, not least, that has made us flexible enough to react quickly to changes. With all of the transformations, which initially involve personnel changes exclusively, we aim to preserve the continuity that is needed in the field of specialty chemicals and that has made us the global market leader in many areas.

Keyword: rotation

(Job) rotation is usually a temporary, planned change of jobs to promote the employee’s personal development and provide diversified training and experience. The aim of this on-the-job training method (which was introduced in the 1950s) is for everyone involved to gain new knowledge and skills. The rotating employee passes on the knowledge he or she has acquired to the new department, and, conversely the employees of the new department pass their knowledge on to the person rotating.