Auguste Willems (64), member of the Executive Board of Wacker Chemie AG, will leave the company on April 30, 2023, at his own request. The Supervisory Board appointed Dr. Christian Kirsten (51) as his successor. Kirsten will join the Executive Board on May 1 on a three year contract.
A graduate in business administration with a doctorate in chemistry, he will join the Munich-based chemicals group from consumer goods and adhesives manufacturer Henkel. At Henkel, Kirsten was most recently Corporate Senior Vice President with global responsibility for the company’s adhesives business with the automotive and metal industries, as well as for all adhesives operations in Europe.
Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, thanked Willems for his many years of service to the company: “In his more than 17 years on the Executive Board, Auguste Willems has helped shape the development of the WACKER Group across a variety of areas of responsibility. With his strong customer and market orientation, he has made a key contribution to the company’s operational growth and significantly strengthened its customer focus. It is an achievement that deserves our utmost respect.”
August Willems studied bioscience at the University of Leuven (Belgium). After graduating, he joined Henkel, holding various sales and marketing positions. He then spent several years in Indonesia and the USA, with overall operations responsibility. After Henkel split off its specialty-chemicals business, he transferred to Cognis as Group Vice President of Functional Products and member of the Corporate Executive Committee in 2002. In January 2006, Willems was appointed to the Executive Board of Wacker Chemie AG.
Dr. Christian Kirsten
Dr. Christian Kirsten studied in Düsseldorf, where he received his doctorate in chemistry in 1997. He began his career in Central Research at Henkel AG & Co. KGaA. After holding positions in management consulting and in the automotive industry between 2000 and 2006, he returned to Henkel as Head of Global Raw Materials Procurement. Starting in 2013, he was responsible for Henkel’s global adhesives business for the automotive and metal industries, which he managed from Shanghai, China, between 2015 and 2017. In 2018, he assumed additional responsibility for the entire European adhesives business and became president for Henkel in Europe.