Heidenrich will take up his appointment to the executive board on January 1st, before stepping into the role of CEO at the company’s AGM, scheduled for April 26, 2012.
Heidenreich is currently CEO of Swiss food company Hero, but has extensive experience working in the personal care sector, including stints with Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
Following his appointment to the Hero Group in 2002, the company has developed into a leading global manufacturer of baby foods and jams.
The Hero Group currently has an annual turnover of approximately CHF2bn (€1.62bn), which pales against Beiersdorf’s €6.2bn, and underlines the big step up Heidenreich will be making in his new role.
In an official statement following the appointment Heidenreich underlined the the strengthe of the company’s brands and its dominant position in the skin care category, but equally drew attention to his belief that the company has ‘great growth potential’.
Beiersdorf his hoping that his executive experience and success at Hero can be translated into equally high achievements at the company, which has suffered from stagnant sales in the past few sales.
Under the governance of outgoing CEO Thomas Quaas, the company has undergone significant restructuring and a refocus of its business strategy, though these changes have failed to translate into a more dynamic financial performance.
In the first half of 2011 the Beiersdorf Group recorded organic sales growth of 2.6 per cent in the first half of 2011. At current exchange rates, Group sales were up 1.9 per cent on the previous year, at €2,9bn.
However, most of this growth was attributed to the return to form of its industrial fixatives division, Tesa.
The Consumer business segment, which includes the eponymous Nivea brand, increased organic sales by a less than dynamic 1.3 per cent in the first six months of 2011, with sales amounting to €2.4bn.
However, it was the Nivea brand that saw the biggest transformation during the period, with the streamlining of the product range and the exit from the make-up business, followed in the second quarter by a driven marketing campaign for the brand’s 100th anniversary.