Lenzing has reshuffled its Management Board as part of a plan to accelerate production and sales of Tencel, a rayon fiber favored by many outdoor lifestyle apparel brands for its drape, texture and environmental story.
The company said it will expand its three person Management Board to four by adding a chief sales and marketing officer so it can accelerated upgrades to Tencel production, marketing and sales activities. Until now, the board had included CEO Peter Untersperger, a CFO and a COO for production.
“The global market environment in the viscose [cellulose-based] fiber segment remains challenging for Lenzing, the world market leader,” the company said in an Oct. 4 statement. “Excess production capacity has been built up due to the weaker growth in China and the ongoing investment activity in the fiber industry.”
COO Friedrich Weninger, who has responsibility for the company’s global fiber business, will focus more intensely on Lenzing’s core activity of production effective immediately. Weninger is responsible for overseeing a €150 million expansion of a Lenzing plant to boost product of Tencel, a wood based fiber favored by many outdoor lifestyle brands for its drape and silk texture. That facility is expected to come on line in 2014 and increase production capacity for this specialty fiber by about 40 percent to a level of 220,000 tons annually. The yet-to-be-named chief sales and marketing officer will focus on optimal marketing of the additional production volumes.
In mutual agreement with the Supervisory Board, Lenzing AG CFO Thomas G. Winkler will step down from his position on the Management Board effective at the end of 2013 because of differing opinions related to the future course and organization of the Lenzing Group. Winkler has agreed to serve the company in an advisory capacity for another year.
“Lenzing achieved the best results in the history of the company in 2011 and 2012. We owe this success also to the successful capital measures which took place under the leadership of Thomas Winkler, to whom I would like to express our wholehearted thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Supervisory Board,” states Michael Junghans, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lenzing AG.
In 2011 Lenzing successfully carried out a Re-IPO, and issued a corporate bond the year before and a German Private Placement in 2012. On balance, these capital measures raised some €400 mn in fresh capital, and resulted in a fundamental reorientation of the company’s capital structure.