From left: Sybille Thierer and new CEO Gregor Riekena
The Häfele Group has announced a new CEO as it prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday.
Sibylle Thierer spent 20 years at the helm of the Germany-based manufacturer and distributor of furniture fittings and architectural hardware, electronic access control systems and LED lighting.
She is now handing over the role to Gregor Riekena, the company’s current MD, who will become the fifth CEO in Häfele’s history and only the second non-family CEO of the Häfele Group.
Thierer is renowned in the industry for her championing of hardware and fitting systems, and their ability to bring furniture to life. In 2007, Thierer penned the slogan: ‘Without fittings, furniture is nothing more than a pile of boards,’ which went on to elevate furniture fittings into a main focus of interest for planners, designers and furniture makers.
Additionally, Thierer long promoted the importance of light in furniture and rooms, which led to Häfele developing its Loox and Nimbus ranges, both of which continue to inspire the industry with their innovation and capabilities.
Thierer will remain the chairperson of the Board of Directors, integral to the future decision-making of the Group. The succession to Reikena will be completed by 1st January 2023.
Reikena joined Häfele as Head of Marketing in 2011 and became Chief Marketing Officer in 2015, supporting the company intensively at both a national and international level. He has overseen the brand strategy of the Häfele Group, as well as the development of its global e-commerce platform. He is now making preparations to move Häfele into its next century of business, by spearheading its Corporate Strategy 2030 project.
Thierer said: “With this change at the top of the business, we are confidently underlining our launch into the next Häfele century. This is not about doing everything like we did before, it’s about the further development of the industry.
“Everything I have done has always been about making spaces more liveable for people in a contemporary way, but this is only possible by taking a holistic look at furniture and furnishings. This was the only way for Häfele to develop from a hardware dealer and manufacturer into a specialist and consultant that is in demand all over the world for furnishing all kinds of rooms.
“As a Group, we have worked together to lay the foundation for shaping the future. During this intensive phase, it became clear that the time had come to hand over responsibility to Gregor. He has the best qualifications for the job, and I have complete confidence in him.”
Over the last 100 years Häfele has expanded globally, and today has more than 8,000 employees. The Complete Häfele, created by Thierer’s father Walther, is now available worldwide in more than 20 languages, and the company has annual revenues of almost €2bn.