Darmstadt, Germany, January 17, 2017 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced new appointments to several executive positions. These appointments involve transfers between the businesses and Group functions.
As of April 1, Michael Heckmeier (49), currently Head of the Pigments & Functional Materials business unit, will become Head of the Display Materials business unit within Performance Materials. Display Materials includes the Liquid Crystals business, in which Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the long-standing market and technology leader. Friedhelm Felten (51), who previously headed Group Procurement, will succeed Heckmeier on April 1 as Head of the Pigments & Functional Materials business unit. Both Heckmeier and Felten will report to Walter Galinat, CEO Performance Materials and member of the Executive Board.
Felten will be succeeded as Chief Procurement Officer by Joachim Christ (52), currently Head of Group Controlling & Risk Management, also a candidate from within the company. In his new position, Joachim Christ will report to Kai Beckmann, Chief Administration Officer and member of the Executive Board. The successor to Joachim Christ as Head of Group Controlling will be announced in due course.
“We place high priority on further developing our employees and executives. The intended exchange between Group functions and businesses is of mutual benefit and advances our company overall,” said Kai Beckmann, whose Executive Board responsibilities include Human Resources and Procurement.
“The moves show that our employees can grow both within a business sector and across functions and businesses. We are pleased that we could fill these positions with experienced managers from within the company,” said Walter Galinat in reference to the important new appointments.
Joachim Christ, who holds a degree in business administration, joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2011. Prior to that, he held various positions within Finance at Hoechst, Aventis and Lanxess.
Friedhelm Felten, who also holds a degree in business administration, joined the company in 2009. Before that he held management positions in Germany and abroad for DHL/Deutsche Post and BASF, among other companies.
Michael Heckmeier, who holds degrees in physics and mathematics, joined the company in 1998 and has served as Head of Liquid Crystals R&D, among other things. As Head of the Pigments business, he successfully restructured the cosmetics activities.