Frankfurt, December 6 – Carla Kriwet’s predecessor, Rice Powell, had been the head of Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) for ten years – after two solid months her post is over. The dialysis group called “strategic differences” Tuesday night the reason for the abrupt change of executive chairman. The role of the 51-year-old, who only arrived in Bad Homburg in October from Bosch’s Munich subsidiary BSH Hausgeräte, is now taken over by finance director Helen Giza, who previously hoped for the lead role.
Parent company Fresenius, headed by Michael Sen, who has also only been in office since October, pushed for faster success in restructuring FMC: “In a fundamentally sound industry, Fresenius Medical Care needs to focus even more on operational turnaround, continue to improve performance and focus on its core,” Sen said.
FMC stock, which is listed in the flagship Dax index, fell more than 4% on Tuesday. It has lost more than half its value since April. Fresenius shares, which are also listed in Germany’s top stock exchange league, fell 1.7%. Credit Suisse analysts called the management change “unexpected and negative.” Fresenius made little effort to hide the flaw, a dealer said.
AN ACTIVIST INVESTOR PUTS THE PRESSURE
FMC had recently become more and more of a brake pad for Fresenius. Above all, the shortage of nursing staff in the United States is slowing down the recovery after the corona pandemic, in which dialysis patients were particularly at risk. Despite all efforts, many positions in dialysis centers are vacant. After two profit warnings, FMC expects its profits to fall by as much as 25% in the current year. This drags the entire Fresenius healthcare group down.
Sen is also under pressure from activist investor Elliott, who insiders say has joined Fresenius and is pushing for a split. With the stake reduced to less than 25%, Fresenius could remove FMC from the balance sheet. Fresenius SE & Co KGaA only owns 32% of the subsidiary so far, but has to fully consolidate it due to the balance of power in the KGaA structure.
Kriwet was brought to FMC by Sen’s predecessor, Stephan Sturm, but started three months ahead of schedule due to the issues in America. Meanwhile, former Siemens executive Sen, who previously ran the Kabi subsidiary, started as CEO of Fresenius. Although Sturm repeatedly contemplated restructuring the band, he did not follow his words with deeds.
When she took office, Kriwet had already announced far-reaching measures to turn the tide. This “also included a culture of performance and clear responsibilities,” she said. In Kriwet’s entourage, it was said on Tuesday that she had examined the situation on the spot and planned a fundamental reconversion. However, the parent company was keen on quick wins – also with a view to selling shares. The company’s complicated structure also slowed her down. Kriwet himself declined to comment.
GIZA WILL FORCE TRANSFORMATION
His successor Giza has served as FMC’s chief financial officer since 2019, coming from Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda. It was only this year that she was promoted to Deputy General Manager and responsible for implementing the “FME25” retraining program. “With the knowledge I gained as CFO and Chief Business Transformation Officer, I feel well equipped to focus even more on operational turnaround,” Giza said as she took up her role. of CEO. She also succeeds Kriwet as a member of the Fresenius management committee. A successor for FMC’s finance department is still being sought.
Fresenius boss Sen must have had similar experiences at Siemens like Kriwet now. He was actually supposed to become CEO of spin-off subsidiary Siemens Energy, but left before officially taking over after a feud with then-Siemens boss Joe Kaeser.
FMC boss leaves after just two months – feud with Fresenius
Symbolic photo: Image by jkortenbosch0 on Pixabay
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