Global hardwood specialist Danzer announces changes in its management. After 21 years with the company, Olof von Gagern (65) retires. His successor as CEO of Danzer Veneer Europe is Rudi Heinzelmann (57). Ulrich Grauert (51) will assume the role as CEO of Interholco AG. In the future, the Danzer and Interholco brands will operate independently from each other: Danzer will focus on hardwood from temperate forests – Interholco will sharpen its focus as a social, environmental and economic leader in tropical forest management as well as a leading producer of tropical wood.
The management changes at Danzer had been prepared well in advance. Rudi Heinzelmann and Ulrich Grauert had been acting as COO for Danzer Veneer Europe and Interholco AG respectively already. Rudi Heinzelmann joined Danzer in 1984 and has worked in several functions including sales, procurement and product management.
Ulrich Grauert joined Interholco AG in Switzerland in 1993. Born in Africa, he has spent his entire professional life in the hardwood industry.
Interholco has been working in Africa since 1964 and owns IFO (Industrie Forestière d’Ouesso) in the Republic of Congo. This Interholco subsidiary manages the largest contiguous forest concession in the tropics (1.16 million hectares) that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC).
“The separate management of the Interholco brand allows us to better focus our activities on the requirements of forest management and timber production in Africa”, says Ulrich Grauert. “We can better target our investments and activities, and focus on engaging stakeholders in the Congo Basin to address social, environmental and economic needs at local, regional and national level.”
All Danzer activities focusing on hardwood from temperate forests will be eventually consolidated under the Danzer brand, including Danzer Veneer Americas, Danzer Veneer Europe, Danzer UK, Danzer Specialty Division, Bradford Forest and Interforest Lumber.
Danzer has been investing in innovative new technologies in Europe and North America to increase the resource efficiency – making better use of the valuable hardwood resource, including a hardwood log scanner that allows looking inside a log before processing it can result in higher yields, and a technology to slice thick hardwood lamellas for the engineered flooring industry effectively avoiding 30-50% waste that would result from traditional sawing. Key species for this fast growing Danzer product is, in line with today’s fashion, rustic European Oak.
“Our activities with hardwood products from temperate forests will also benefit from the two brand approach”, adds Hans-Joachim Danzer, CEO of Danzer Holding AG. “While both businesses share the same principles and values in relation to the natural hardwood resource and the conduct of business, we deal with very different products, markets, species and business drivers day to day.”