Sam Martin, chief operating officer of SAF-Holland Group and president of the American subsidiary SAF-Holland Inc., will resign from his operating activities at the end of 2010 at his own request, the company announced Tuesday, Nov. 16. Martin, who will remain available to the company to help ensure a smooth transition, is expected to be nominated to join the board of directors at the company’s annual general meeting in April 2011.
Martin’s responsibilities in the management board will be redistributed, and the board also will be reduced in size. Jack Gisinger will succeed Martin as president of the American subsidiary and will take up his new position on Jan. 2, 2011. At the same time, Detlef Borghardt will assume the position of deputy chief executive officer of the entire group and will take over the responsibility for strategic planning. The COO function will be dropped.
“Sam Martin’s decision to end his active career marks the departure of a strong leader who had a formative influence on the company,” says Bernhard Schneider, chairman of SAF-Holland S.A. “He made a vital contribution to SAF-Holland. The board would like to thank Sam, also on behalf of all his colleagues and staff, for the outstanding work he has done. Jack Gisinger and Detlef Borghardt are recognized market experts who will continue to pursue our corporate strategy, and we are very pleased that they have taken on these new responsibilities.”
Gisinger and Borghardt were appointed to the management board in June 2007 in the course of the initial public offering of SAF-Holland, and each is responsible for one of the company’s three business units: Gisinger is head of the powered vehicle systems business unit, and Borghardt of the trailer systems business unit. They will continue to be responsible for these business units.
Since Gisinger joined the company in 1980, he has held various management positions with increasing responsibility at SAF-Holland or the former Holland Group, including several years as managing director of the European companies of the former Holland Group Inc. Borghardt held several management positions at Alusuisse-Lonza before joining SAF in 2000 as head of sales, marketing and services.
Martin also was appointed to the management board in 2007 in the course of the initial public offering of SAF-Holland Group. After gaining initial professional experience as a metallurgical engineer, Martin joined the company in 1974 and soon took up management positions. He played a decisive role in shaping the success of the former Holland Group and subsequently SAF-Holland Group. Important milestones of his work include the successful reorganization of the former Holland Group in 2002 and 2003, the merger of the companies SAF and Holland at the end of 2006, the initial public offering of the company in mid-2007 and the restructuring in North America of the SAF-Holland Group as a result of the recent financial and economic crisis.
A further change to the management board of SAF-Holland involves the resignation of Dr. Martin Kleinschmitt as chief restructuring officer. Consistent with the completion of the company’s restructuring program that was introduced two years ago, he has concluded his function as planned. He is also a member of the executive board of Noerr Consulting AG, Berlin, and will continue to act as a consultant to SAF-Holland on a selective basis.