Detlef Trefzger has been promoted to chief executive officer of global freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel International after having joined the company just five months ago as executive vice president of contract logistics, the company announced Thursday.
Trefzger immediately takes over from Chairman Karl Gernandt, who has served as acting chief executive since the resignation of CEO Reinhard Lange in early May. Lange resigned ostensibly for health reasons, but the March announcement of Lange's impending departure coincided with the release of earnings results for 2012 that were 18.6 percent lower than in 2011.
Trefzger will continue to oversee the contract logistics unit for the time being, Kuehne + Nagel said.
Prior to joining the world's second largest forwarder by revenue, Trefzger worked at Deutsche Bahn's Schenker logistics arm from 2004 through October 2012. At Schenker he was in charge of contract logistics and supply chain management, and later in his tenure, he added responsibility for global airfreight and ocean freight.
"In addition to his comprehensive knowledge of the business and many years’ experience in the logistics industry, Detlef Trefzger’s expertise in general management also played a major role in helping us reach a decision. Over the past months, he has made significant contributions to the successful implementation of our strategy. His management philosophy corresponds with the Kuehne + Nagel ‘entrepreneurial spirit,’ and the company’s team-oriented culture will benefit greatly from his constructive leadership style. We are convinced that Detlef Trefzger will maintain the continuity of leadership and direction of our company while at the same time injecting new ideas to ensure its future, successful development,” Gernhardt said in a statement. - Eric Kulisch