2021-08-09

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

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.

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