Waiblingen, 12/04/2023 | Company press release

Björn Rosenplänter appointed new Managing Director of STIHL Kettenwerk GmbH & Co KG

Björn Rosenplänter has been appointed new Managing Director of STIHL Kettenwerk GmbH & Co KG in Wil, Switzerland. Rosenplänter will take over the position effective January 1, 2024, and will succeed Joachim Zappe, who will assume new duties at the founding company of the STIHL Group - ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG in Waiblingen, Germany - in 2024.

Martin Schwarz, STIHL Executive Board Member for Manufacturing and Materials, says: "We are delighted to have an experienced manager and excellent successor for this position in the person of Björn Rosenplänter. He has many years of leadership experience in an international setting and will continue the successful trajectory of the STIHL chain plant."

Björn Rosenplänter was born in Dinslaken, Germany, in 1977 and is married. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, a Master's degree in Quality Systems Management and a Master's degree in Business Administration. He has held a variety of management positions in Germany, the U.S., and Thailand, most recently serving as Managing Director of Varian Medical Systems Particle Therapy GmbH & Co. KG, a company of the Siemens Group. Rosenplänter joined the company on January 1, 2023, in order to get to know all of the STIHL Group's main points of collaboration, processes, standards, and customers as part of a comprehensive onboarding program. "I am looking forward to the upcoming challenge as the new Managing Director of the STIHL chain plant, working together with the entire team to further expand the strong competitive position and successfully lead the company into the future", he says.

Joachim Zappe joined STIHL in January 1992 at the magnesium diecasting plant in Weinsheim, Germany. For more than 17 years, he held a variety of positions at the STIHL Group's founding company. Before becoming the Swiss chain plant's Managing Director in 2009, he worked as Head of Production and Logistics. Dr. Nikolas Stihl, Chairman of the STIHL Group's Advisory Board and Supervisory Board says: "The chain plant is of huge strategic importance to STIHL. In his many years as Managing Director, Joachim Zappe has continuously advanced our Swiss production company while consistently driving increases in production and revenue. We would like to thank Mr. Zappe for his very successful commitment thus far and look forward to continuing to work with him going forward." Schwarz adds: "The Swiss STIHL chain plant is an essential part of our international manufacturing network. Its extensive expertise gives the entire STIHL Group a competitive edge that should not be underestimated - Joachim Zappe has made a valuable contribution to this."

Joachim Zappe, a native of Germany whose commitment to the town of Wil and the surrounding canton of St. Gallen includes an administrative board position at a major local charitable organization and a role as a delegate for a regional business association, says: "I would like to thank the Stihl family, the STIHL Executive Board, and the entire team at the STIHL chain plant for their trust and a successful working relationship over the nearly 15 years that I have had the privilege of spending as Managing Director at the production site in Switzerland. In view of STIHL's leading global position in the saw chain market and our technological leadership in chainsaws and power tools, I firmly believe that the success story here in Switzerland will endure. For now, I look forward to new challenges at the founding company in Waiblingen."

STIHL saw chain production as a success factor

The STIHL chain plant in Switzerland was opened in 1974 and employs over 1,000 people today. Steadily growing demand has fueled the constant expansion of the Swiss location in recent years. More than 70 different types of saw chains for export to markets around the world, as well as some 30 different hedge trimmer blades, are manufactured at two locations in Wil and Bronschhofen. STIHL is currently the only chainsaw manufacturer in the world that develops and produces a wide range of saw chains in-house in addition to producing the powerhead and guide bars.

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