Rob Smith to succeed Gordon Riske as Chief Executive Officer of KION GROUP AG

2021-08-09 / 10:35:53

Rob Smith to succeed Gordon Riske as Chief Executive Officer of KION GROUP AG

- Supervisory Board has appointed Rob Smith as CEO with effect from January 1, 2022

- Gordon Riske will leave the Executive Board on December 31, 2021 and will continue to serve the company as an advisor until June 30, 2022

- Supervisory Board Chairman Michael Macht on Rob Smith: "A top manager who brings broad experience in global capital goods companies to continue KION's growth strategy."


Frankfurt am Main, August 9, 2021 - Rob Smith, a U.S and German citizen, will become the new Chief Executive Officer of KION GROUP AG. The Supervisory Board of the MDAX-listed intralogistics group has appointed the 56-year-old to succeed long-serving Chief Executive Officer Gordon Riske, effective January 01, 2022, with the usual three-year contract term for initial appointments. Riske will leave the Executive Board on December 31, 2021 - six months before the end of his contract on reaching the regular age limit of 65. He will continue to serve his successor and the company as an advisor during the period until his original contract expires.

"We are very pleased to have gained one of the highest-profile global top managers in the capital goods industry with proven capital market, M&A as well as digitalization experience for the KION Group. Rob Smith brings all the experience and leadership to seamlessly continue the KION Group's growth strategy," said Michael Macht, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "I am grateful to Gordon Riske for actively contributing to a smooth, long-term succession after 14 very successful years at the helm of the Group."

Rob Smith said, "For many years, I have followed the KION Group's successful journey under Gordon Riske's leadership. As one of the market leaders, the company since its foundation has been defining the development of its industry, which is shaped by the megatrends of automation, digitalization and energy. My goal is to provide our customers with decisive competitive advantages through leading products, solutions and services, thus continuing the impressive success of the KION Group with full commitment and energy. I am very much looking forward to working with the Supervisory Board, with my new colleagues on the Executive Board and with all 38,000 women and men in the KION family to lead this very successful and strong industrial Group in its next phase of growth. This exciting company has enormous potential for the future."

Rob Smith is currently President & CEO of the publicly listed Finnish group Konecranes, a leading international manufacturer of industrial cranes and container port automation. From 2013 to 2019, he was Senior Vice President & General Manager Europe, Africa and Middle East of the global agricultural machinery company AGCO Corporation. Prior to that, he held management positions in automotive supply and capital goods companies in the U.S., France and Germany. Smith holds a BSE in Systems Engineering from Princeton University, an MBA in International Operations & Finance from the University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business. He earned his Dr.rer.pol. degree from the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management after graduating with a master's degree in business administration and a dissertation on supply chain management.

At the end of July, the KION Group had reported significantly improved results in all key performance indicators for the first half of 2021 compared with the same period last year. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the Group achieved strong growth in order intake and revenue with a significantly overproportional improvement in earnings, to which both segments, Industrial Trucks & Services (ITS) and Supply Chain Solutions (SCS), contributed. Combined with a positive outlook for 2021 as a whole in line with the current forecasts for the global economy and, in particular, the KION Group's emerging positive revenue performance for the remainder of the year, the KION Group also increased its forecast targets for 2021 as a whole.

The Company

The KION Group is among the world's leading suppliers of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions. Its portfolio encompasses industrial trucks, such as forklift trucks and warehouse trucks, as well as integrated automation technology and software solutions for the optimization of supply chains, including all related services. Across more than 100 countries worldwide, the KION Group's solutions improve the flow of material and information within factories, warehouses, and distribution centers.

The Group, which is included in the MDAX, is the largest manufacturer of industrial trucks in Europe in terms of units sold in 2020. In China, it is the leading foreign manufacturer (as measured by revenue in 2020) and number three overall. The KION Group is also one of the world's leading providers of warehouse automation (as measured by revenue in 2019).

At the end of 2020, more than 1.6 million of the KION Group's industrial trucks and over 6,000 of its installed systems were in use by customers of various sizes and in numerous industries on six continents. The Group currently has in excess of 36,000 employees and generated revenue of €8.3 billion in 2020.

Current KION Group images can be found in our image database at and on the websites of our various brands.



This release and the information contained herein are for information purposes only and do not constitute a prospectus or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Future results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, e.g. changes in business, economic and competitive conditions (including with respect to further developments in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic), regulatory reforms, results of technical studies, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability of financing. We do not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.

Further information for the media

Michael Hauger
Senior Vice President Corporate Communications
Tel: +49 (0)69 201 107 655
Mobile: +49 (0)151 1686 5550

Further information for investors

Sebastian Ubert
Vice President Investor Relations
Tel: +49 (0)69 201 107 329

Antje Kelbert
Senior Manager Investor Relations
Tel: +49 (0)69 201 107 346

Dana Unger
Senior Manager Investor Relations
Tel: +49 (0)69 201 107 371


Your Contacts

Dr. Christopher Spies

Senior Manager Corporate Communications

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