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Five years after the merger of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter Systems under the joint holding KNDS, the Group’s governance is being restructured. With this new structure, the owners of the Franco-German manufacturer of military land systems (the French state holding company GIAT Industries and the German family-owned company Wegmann & Co GmbH) are continuing on the path they forged in 2015, advancing towards the creation of a leader in its field.

Shareholders have decided to streamline the governance structure by establishing a single board of directors replacing the existing supervisory and management boards. After a first phase where the two subsidiaries got to know each other under the management of two Co-CEOS and started building the company, it is time now to enter into the next phase of integration and development. This new structure will enable more efficient and coherent management of the KNDS companies and optimum leveraging of their potential and synergies.

New KNDS Structure

The future board of directors of KNDS will comprise ten members. Nine members will be external appointees without any direct operational responsibilities within KNDS while the tenth will be the CEO of KNDS. The shareholders unanimously appointed Frank Haun to assume this role, who has served as CEO of KMW since 2003. He played a crucial role in designing and building KNDS in 2015 and has been instrumental in the success of the company since 2015 as Co-CEO.

It is intended that the chairman of the board of directors will be Mr. Philippe Petitcolin, presently CEO of Safran. Mr. Petitcolin will bring to the company his deep and successful experience of industrial operations and international cooperations, including the defence industry. Mr. Petitcolin will take his position on 1 March, succeeding Mr. Christian Jourquin.

The two shareholders will each appoint three of the non-executive members of the board of directors. They will be joined by three independent members appointed by both shareholders, including the chairman of the board of directors. An executive committee, balanced between France and Germany, will support the board of directors and the CEO in the management of KNDS going forward.

KMW & Nexter Changes

New management at KNDS also requires new appointments in management positions in the operational companies Nexter Systems and KMW. The new CEO of the latter will be Ralf Ketzel, previously Chief Business Development Officer of the German company. The new CEO of Nexter Systems will be announced in the coming weeks.

The French Shareholding Agency and Dr Wolfgang Büchele (Chairman of the board of Wegmann) thank the outgoing members of the KNDS supervisory board and the two former Co-CEOs for their work in establishing KNDS over the past five years, especially Stéphane Mayer, who will leave his position of Co-CEO after five successful years.

Jack Richardson