Thomas Obendrauf has been chosen as the new chief financial officer at Lenzing AG, pending approval of the company’s supervisory board. The appointment would be for three years beginning March 1.
Obendrauf would succeed Thomas Riegler, who informed the supervisory board that he will terminate his contract ahead of schedule by the end of 2015, with Lenzing restructuring process successfully completed. Riegler said he wants to spend more time on his own interim management and consulting company. The board noted Riegler’s “significant contribution” to the company realignment.
Obendrauf, who is currently cfo of car dealership Wiesenthal Autohandels AG, had previously worked for 12 years as cfo and in other management positions with circuit board manufacturer AT&S AG.
The company noted that he also has comprehensive expertise in innovation management in the U.S. and as an expert on Asia, bringing many years of operative management experience in developing and optimizing lasting business relations in the Far East.
Obendrauf studied commercial science at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and received his masters of business administration at the University of Chicago.
Hanno Bästlein, chairman of the nomination committee of the supervisory board of Lenzing AG, said, “With Thomas Obendrauf, we managed to attract to Lenzing AG a recognized top manager. The whole Lenzing Group can benefit, for our future strategic focus, from his comprehensive expertise and his many years of international experience.”
If approved by the board, Obendrauf will also become a member of the management board of Lenzing AG, joining chief executive officer Stefan Doboczky and chief operating officer Robert van de Kerkhof.
“Lenzing AG has successfully completed a difficult restructuring process and will now be able to grow again with innovative products in the market,” Obendrauf said. “Due to the strong ties with Asia, the global fiber market is still highly dynamic. Getting the chance to work as cfo for such a respected, innovative company as Lenzing AG is therefore a highly responsible and challenging assignment.”
Over the last two years, Austria-based Lenzing has restructured its business to more strongly focusing on its core business of producing man-made cellulose fibers.
Last month, Lenzing said it was embarking on a new business strategy called “SCore Ten” that aims to increase the share of specialty fibers to 50 percent of revenue by 2020, expand its quality and technological position for man-made cellulose fibers and open new business areas. The plan is being orchestrated by Doboczky, who took the helm of the fiber giant in June.
In the first three quarters of 2015, Lenzing saw consolidated revenue rise 7.4 percent to 1.46 billion euros, or $1.56 billion. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization improved 31.7 percent to 210.6 million euros, or $226.7 million at average exchange for the period.