Freight forwarding and logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel International AG will switch CEOs on August 1 next year, announcing a plan today to promote its top road logistics executive and sales chief to the highest office, saying the hire would ensure continuity of its global strategy and corporate culture.
The Swiss company on Monday said that Stefan Paul would ascend to the top leadership job after working at the firm from 1990 to 1997, then serving in management positions at various logistics companies in Germany and the U.K. for 16 years, and returning to Kuehne + Nagel in 2013. Since returning, 52-year-old Paul has expanded and globalized the road logistics business sector while increasing its profitability, and later taking over responsibilities for global sales in the management team.
After Paul takes over on top, current CEO Detlef Trefzger will step down “for private reasons” after nine years as CEO and join the company’s board of directors.
Trefzger first joined Kuehne + Nagel in 2013 after more than a decade at rival logistics provider Schenker AG, and proceeded to lead the firm through changes like acquiring Tennessee-based truck and rail intermodal service provider ReTrans Inc. and launching a "net zero carbon" program to reduce emissions generated by less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments. And earlier in 2021, Trefzger made the biggest merger in company history when he acquired Chinese logistics provider Apex International Corp. in a move to fulfill Kuehne + Nagel’s strategic Asia ambitions.
"One of Kuehne + Nagel's principles is long-term company development, which includes, above all, succession planning for management positions. In view of the company’s very successful performance, the focus thereby lies on ensuring continuity. With the appointment of Stefan Paul as CEO, the global strategy and corporate culture will be sustained,” Joerg Wolle, the company’s board chairman, said in a release. “We would like to take the opportunity now already to thank Dr. Trefzger for his leadership over the past years. Together with his management team, he has succeeded in developing Kuehne + Nagel achieving excellent results. This deserves the special recognition of the Board of Directors of Kuehne + Nagel International AG."