Palfinger's longstanding leader retires amid board changes
By Euan Youdale24 February 2011
Hubert Palfinger, who headed Austrian loader crane and access equipment giant Palfinger for 33 years, will retire from the company's surpervisory board at the end of March.
Hubert Palfinger turned the family-run business into a global player during his tenure, said a company spokesman. "At the age of 22, I took over the company from my father, and in the past 45 years I have dedicated all my resources to create a global industry giant. I started loosening the reins when the company went public. And now that we have successfully mastered the effects the financial and economic crisis had on our company, the right time has come to pass on the baton to the next generation," said Hubert Palfinger.
In 1999 he became chairman of the supervisory board. In 2003 he was succeeded as chairman by Alexander Exner but remained a board member.
Exner has also announced he will retire on 30 March. He has been with the company for 25 years. In the 1990s he was CEO of Palfinger Holding AG. Following the establishment of Palfinger AG he was appointed deputy chairman of the supervisory board and, in 2003, took over as chairman. In December 2010 he retired as chairman and was succeeded by board member Alexander Doujak but continued to have a seat on the board.
The retirements are part of a generation change in the board that has been planned for some time. To this end, Hannes Palfinger will be proposed to the annual general meeting for election to the supervisory board, as will Heinrich Kiener.
Most recently Hannes Palfinger headed the marine and wind energy business of Palfinger systems GmbH. Before that he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers Vienna as an auditor.
Kiener is shareholder and managing director of Stiegl brewery. The lawyer and business economist also holds seats on the supervisory boards of Salzburger Sparkasse and Schoellerbank.
With a 65% shareholding, the Palfinger family is majority shareholder of Palfinger AG.