The Supervisory Board of GfK has elected Ralf Klein-Bölting as its new Chairman - he succeeds Dr. Arno Mahlert on September 13th.
The appointment was made at an EGM today. Klein-Bölting is 54 and joined the Board just three months ago, although he has worked for the Executive Board of GfK Verein over the past seven years. A specialist in consumer marketing, he has been Managing Partner of brand consultancy and investment company NEXTBRAND since 2013 and before this was Director of Branding and Advertising for Otto GmbH & Co. KG. He has also held Board roles at Mars, Deutsche Bahn and Tchibo.
Dr. Mahlert (pictured) has served as a member of the Supervisory Board of GfK SE since 2004 and as its Chairman since 2008. His resignation was announced on August 12th, alongside that of CEO Matthias Hartmann. The reason given was 'differences of opinions' in the cooperation with the GfK Verein charitable trust.
GfK says it is continuing with its recent 'comprehensive transformation' into a global matrix organization, with 'more stringent process and cost management', and is currently focused on 'even closer customer relationships, the realization of its sales potential and the successful implementation of defined key projects'.
Klein-Bölting said in a statement: 'I sincerely appreciate the trust placed in me by the members of the Supervisory Board. Together with my colleagues, I will dedicate all my efforts to GfK. On a basis of trust and in close collaboration with the Management Board, we will focus on the execution and, respectively, the continued de-velopment of the strategy as well as on setting GfK on course into a successful future. In addition, the top priority will be on further strengthening the operational business as well as the search for a new CEO'.
The group's home page is at www.gfk.com .