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July 2021: Schoeller Textil AG, the Swiss textile and technology company, announces a shift in leadership as Joachim Kath takes over as CEO. Following a 10-year career at the global textile solutions brand known for its innovative technical fabrics and smart textile finishing technologies for more than 150 years, CEO Siegfried Winkelbeiner is moving into a well-deserved retirement later this month. Joachim Kath, who comes from the chemical industry, has been working closely with Winkelbeiner as COO at Schoeller for the past year and a half.
The retiring CEO Siegfried Winkelbeiner (right) sums up his Schoeller era in one sentence: “Throughout the years, we have compared Schoeller to a ship under sail and have had to weather many a stormy challenge.” The team successfully pulled together and has been able to strengthen the company’s reputation as an innovation leader. On more than one occasion, exciting collaborative projects with both existing and new customers opened up previously-uptapped business fields and markets. Under the management of Siegfried Winkelbeiner, Schoeller has successfully weathered even the enormous appreciation of the Swiss franc and the current pandemic. His primary focus has always been to create a working environment in which staff and management have the opportunity to exercise their talents and skills for the benefit of the Schoeller Group.
The transition comes after long-term planning. Since February 2020, and in close partnership with Siegfried Winkelbeiner, Joachim Kath (left) has been preparing as Schoeller COO to take over its management. Joachim Kath originally comes from Flensburg (DE) and, following his studies of Chemical Engineering in Karlsruhe, shaped his professional career in the chemical industry with Ciba (-Geigy) / BASF in Basel (CH). His more than 30-year career has incorporated engineering, production and marketing & sales in diverse management functions – in a wide range of business segments for various industries and areas of application around the globe.
Joachim Kath spent 12 years of his career dedicated to textile finishing, with a period of intensive travel in Asia and a 3-year stay in the USA. Asked how he sees himself, Joachim Kath said: “The common thread running through all my assignments and business activities is process orientation, interest in new paths, and an instinct for what is feasible – with the goal of achieving customer benefits and satisfaction. Kath aims to ensure that Schoeller can continue to face the challenges of changing market requirements with outstanding and exceptional products, while evolving and innovating to stay ahead of consumer needs for the future. High performance capability, sustainable product development, premium quality, reliability, productivity, and keeping the customer as the central focus of all activities continue as essential keys to Schoeller’s business success.
The two CEOs know one another well from their previous work and from joint international projects at Ciba-Geigy and BASF. Joachim Kath regards it as a privilege to be able to continue writing the story of Schoeller’s success and build on Siegfried Winkelbeiner’s multi-facetted initiatives and extraordinarily close customer relations in so many market segments, geographic locations and projects. Living up to this is simultaneously a challenge and an inspiration.
About Schoeller Textil AG
Schoeller Textil AG is a global textile company headquartered in Sevelen, Switzerland, that specializes in the development and manufacturing of functional fabrics and textile technologies for athletic, outdoor, fashion and workwear categories. Founded more than 150 years ago, Schoeller calls upon its vast history of experience working with the most advanced equipment in compliance with the world’s toughest environmental system, bluesign®. In all areas of activity, quality and sustainability are the brand’s primary concerns. The entire production chain is scrutinized – from the raw material to the finished product.