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Changes within the leadership team at Merck Performance Materials


Merck announced changes within the leadership team of its Performance Materials business sector. Effective January 1, 2019, Dorothea Wenzel will lead the Surface Solutions business unit within Performance Materials. Benjamin Hein will succeed her as Head of Strategy & Transformation within Performance Materials; Stefan Kratzer will become Head of Controlling.

Dorothea Wenzel joined Performance Materials in April 2018, having transferred from the Healthcare business sector of Merck. She is currently Head of Controlling, Strategy & Transformation within Performance Materials. Previously, she served as the Head of the Fertility franchise within the Healthcare business sector and as Head of Controlling of the former Merck Serono division. Dorothea Wenzel succeeds Friedhelm Felten, who has decided to pursue new career opportunities outside Merck.

“I’m happy that Dorothea Wenzel will take over this business-critical role within Performance Materials,” Kai Beckmann, CEO Performance Materials and member of the Executive Board, underscored. “Within only half a year, she was instrumental in creating the new, convincing Performance Materials strategy. In addition, she built a strong structure for the Controlling function and laid the foundation for our five-year transformation by establishing the Bright Future program. Dorothea Wenzel successfully led the Fertility franchise of Merck to growth. I expect that she will apply this experience now to Surface Solutions. At the same time, I would like to thank Friedhelm Felten for his strong contributions during his long and successful tenure with Merck. I wish him every success, both professionally and personally.”

Also effective January 1, 2019, Benjamin Hein will take over Dorothea Wenzel’s current role as Head of Strategy & Transformation within Performance Materials, and Stefan Kratzer will become Head of Controlling. Benjamin Hein is currently Head of Group Strategy and the CEO Office at Merck and Stefan Kratzer is Head of Controlling for the Consumer Health business, which is being acquired by Procter & Gamble. Dorothea Wenzel and Benjamin Hein will report to Kai Beckmann; Stefan Kratzer will report to Marcus Kuhnert, member of the Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer of Merck.

“I’m very happy to have these successors for Dorothea Wenzel: Benjamin Hein will contribute the Merck Group perspective very strongly. This is an excellent opportunity for him to support the implementation of the strategy that he already helped to develop in his current position,” said Kai Beckmann.

“We are pleased to have Stefan Kratzer taking over this position, a finance executive within Merck with more than 15 years of international and intercultural experience in Controlling and Finance management positions as well as strong business acumen,” said Marcus Kuhnert. “He has a proven track record in successfully leading some of our finance organizations through major reorganizations and driving teams to high performance.”

Performance Materials comprises the specialty chemicals business of Merck and supplies solutions for displays, computer chips and surfaces of every kind. The business sector plays a leading role in the electronics market, and also operates in the attractive automotive and cosmetics markets.

Dorothea Wenzel has been working for Merck since 2004 and is currently responsible for Controlling, Strategy & Transformation in Performance Materials. Previously, she served as the Head of the Fertility franchise of Merck within the Healthcare business sector and as Head of Controlling of the former Merck Serono division. Before joining Merck, Dorothea Wenzel held various leadership positions on the Rürup Commission of the German Federal Ministry of Health, at the insurance firm Winterthur Versicherung, and at McKinsey. She studied Business and Computer Science and earned a doctorate in Health Economics at the Technical University of Darmstadt and at Harvard University.

Benjamin Hein joined Merck in 2011 and is currently responsible for Group Strategy and the CEO Office. Previously, he was a member of Inhouse Consulting and Head of CEO Office. Before joining Merck, he was employed by Döhler and HAHN Automation. Benjamin Hein studied Business Administration and holds a Master of Science in International Business from Maastricht University (the Netherlands) and a Master of Business from Queensland University of Technology (Australia).

Stefan Kratzer began his professional career at Axaron Biosience AG, a biotech affiliate of BASF. From there, he joined Merck in 2004 as a Licensing & Business Development Controller. After serving as CFO for Merck Generics in the United States and working in Divisional Controlling at Merck Serono headquarters in Geneva, he became CFO for the United Kingdom and Ireland and a Regional CFO in Europe with financial responsibility across all Merck business sectors and multiple countries. For the past 18 months, Stefan Kratzer has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Merck Consumer Health business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the European Business School, Germany and University of Pittsburgh, USA.

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