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Endress+Hauser’s Annual Media Conference 2023: Change is the Only Constant

Change was a common theme of the event, as was adjusting to it and rising to the challenge

May 15, 2023

Endress+Hauser’s Annual Media Conference 2023: Change is the Only Constant
The Annual Media Conference 2023: Dr Klaus Endress, Matthias Altendorf and Dr Luc Schultheiss present the most important facts and figures for the financial year 2022

By Krystie Johnston

Endress+Hauser recently concluded their Annual Media Conference in Basel, Switzerland on April 4th, 2023. Like past media conferences, they reviewed the previous financial year and provided an outlook for the current financial year. But this conference was special: It was the last press conference Klaus Endress would take part in as President of the Supervisory Board. At the end of 2023, Endress will end his active role, and Matthias Altendorf will assume his position on the Board.

Change was a common theme of the event, as was adjusting to it and rising to the challenge

Klaus Endress joined the company his father founded in 1979, and for nearly 45 years contributed to growing it into a global company that spans the world. In 1995, he became the second CEO in the company’s history, and in 2014, became President of the Supervisory Board. Now, as he reaches the age limit of 75 years at the end of 2023, he will continue to have an active role as Chairman of the Family Council, but no active role in the company. 

Altendorf became the third CEO of Endress+Hauser in 2014 – and the first one not coming from the Endress shareholder family. Endress is pleased with internal succession arrangements and to have Altendorf accept the position of CEO. He says, “The shareholders believe he is the person best suited to preside over the supervisory board. He has known the company for 35 years and has led the group with prudence and success for nearly a decade now. Mr. Altendorf embodies the Endress+Hauser culture in an exemplary fashion. I am therefore very pleased that he is prepared to take on this new challenge.”

Endress+Hauser’s Annual Media Conference 2023: Change is the Only Constant

When asked how he will lead the company as President of the Supervisory Board, Altendorf explains, “As I’m not a shareholder or family member, I will lead with good governance principles, a warm heart, a cool head, and active hands. I will provide all my experience and knowledge to help the next generation of managers and family members to guide Endress+Hauser into a good and sustainable future.”

Matthias Altendorf, CEO Endress+Hauser

Endress+Hauser family will remain closely connected to the company

The only constant in life is change, and Endress+Hauser has prepared these succession arrangements for some time. Mr. Altendorf will be succeeded as senior of the group by Dr. Peter Selders, who has been with the company since 2019. And when Endress leaves the Supervisory Board at the end of the year, the family will still be represented by two members: In addition to Sandra Gagne, who joined the board in 2022, Steven Endress will take a seat in 2024. Steven has worked for Endress+ Hauser in the United Kingdom since 2012, and as managing director since 2016. He will hand over these responsibilities in May 2023.

This means that two non-members of the family will be at the top of Endress+Hauser in the future, and for the foreseeable future, no member of the Endress+Hauser family will be in the operational side of the business either. However, the Endress+Hauser family will remain closely connected to the company. As Klaus Endress explained, one of the keys in this respect is the family charter.

Endress+Hauser’s Annual Media Conference 2023: Change is the Only Constant

“Back in 2006, while my father was still alive, we adopted a family charter. This charter sets out common rules for getting along with each other in the family and for our relationship with the company. And it established institutions that strengthen cohesion and introduce the younger generation to the company. We [the family] continue to be closely tied to the company. We have done a lot to ensure that it remains that way also in the next generations.” 

Dr. Klaus Endress, President of the Supervisory Board Endress+Hauser

Endress+Hauser is a family-owned company, and as such, their management style is unique. For them, it is more valuable to think about the sustainability of the company and having something to pass down to the next generation than it is about dividends. Despite the last few years of major contradictions on a global scale, such as the pandemic, the war on Ukraine, and supply chain issues, Endress+Hauser has achieved new records in incoming sales, profit, and headcount.

2023 Another Remarkable Year for Endress+Hauser

This year, Endress+Hauser is celebrating its 70th anniversary. From modest beginnings to a world-leading provider of process and laboratory measurement technology, Endress+Hauser has learned to thrive over long periods of time. The key is adjusting to changing environments. But, no matter what the business strategy, only the people behind the company can drive change and rise to the challenge. For Endress+Hauser, it is the people who make a difference in their company, and it is the people who uphold its values and culture.

Endress elaborates, “There is no one in sight in the family who would be on the way to the top of the company. But there are family members in the younger generation who are very enthusiastic about Endress+Hauser. We would like to win them over as the family’s ambassadors, taking part in events, being approachable to our employees and, so to speak, carry the torch forward. And maybe one day, one of these family members will even take on an operational role again!”

Endress concludes, “In one hundred years’ time, we will not run out of work – well-paid work – as long as we focus on the market, and customers, and continue to improve.” For Endress, it is a never-ending story.

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