Nürtingen/Tokio, June 2021:Horst Garbrecht is letting his contract as CEO of Metabo and Chief Operating Officer Europe (COO) of KOKI Holdings Europe expire. "After the acquisition of Metabo by today's KOKI Holdings at the beginning of 2016, the gradual integration of Metabo into the parent company has begun and, since 2019, the merger of the Metabo and HiKOKI businesses in Europe," says Garbrecht. "I have actively accompanied this, especially since taking on my dual role as CEO of Metabo and COO of KOKI Holdings in 2019. Now this integration is largely complete. KOKI Holdings has an experienced management team that will continue to drive the further process with a great deal of expertise and motivation. This means that my mission has been accomplished. Of course, this decision was extremely difficult for me after twelve great years. Nevertheless, a further extension of my five-year contract is not an option if I want to tackle another new task. Until the last day, my full concentration is on the company. Only after that, and with some distance, will I decide which direction I want to take in the future."
Succession well arranged
Garbrecht's contract would have expired at the end of March. According to his own statements, he had informed the company headquarters in Tokyo at an early stage that he did not want to extend it. Garbrecht: "Instead, we agreed on a flexible arrangement to give the company enough time to organise the succession. This has now been achieved and I am very pleased that our parent company has followed my proposal and appointed Henning Jansen as my successor. After 16 years at Metabo, he not only knows the team and the company very well, but has also contributed significantly to the successful development of the Metabo and HiKOKI brands over the past five years as Director of Sales Europe. I can therefore think of no better successor and am certain that Metabo and KOKI Holdings Europe will remain on course for success under his leadership."
KOKI Holdings Executive Chairman Morisawa: "Great achievement"
"Horst Garbrecht has done great things for the company," says Atsushi Morisawa, Executive Chairman of KOKI Holdings. "With him, we are not only losing an absolute expert and industry expert, but also a leader with remarkable strategic vision and the ability to inspire people. We therefore very much regret that he has decided not to extend his contract with us. But of course we have to respect his decision and wish him and his family all the best and much success for the future and his next professional position. We are also very grateful to him for giving us the chance to arrange his succession with his flexibility. With the decision in favour of Henning Jansen as the person responsible for Europe at KOKI Holdings, we have not only found a candidate with excellent professional and human qualities, this step also ensures continuity in the successful development of both brands."
Great joy and great respect
Jansen, a 43-year-old business graduate, came to Metabo 16 years ago through the takeover of Elektra Beckum. He initially worked there as a senior product manager before moving into sales, where he rose through positions as Area Sales Manager and Key Account Manager Metabo France to Region Manager Central Europe. Since 2016, he has been responsible for Metabo's core market as a member of the Management Board and Director Sales Europe. In 2019, he also took on this role for HiKOKI in parallel. "I am of course very excited about this great opportunity," says Jansen. "Through my many years of affiliation, I know exactly what potential our two great brands have in the power tool world. It excites me very much to take advantage of the opportunities we have together with our great team. At the same time, of course, I also have great respect for the shoes I am stepping into. I have worked closely with Horst Garbrecht since 2009. That's why I know exactly what he has achieved for the company. I have learned a lot from him and thank him from the bottom of my heart for leaving me such a well-ordered house."
Passion and trust as the basis for success
Garbrecht also believes the company is well equipped for the future: "Metabo and HiKOKI have a fantastic team and are thus ideally positioned for the future. Thanks to the skills, enthusiasm, passion and trust of these people, it was possible to get the company back up to full speed in a very short time and to lead it to the technological top in our industry over the years. I can only thank all employees from the bottom of my heart for having placed great trust in me and my ideas from the very beginning and for consistently bringing the strategy to life on a daily basis."
CAS initiated as first cross-brand battery system
The 55-year-old graduate engineer had taken over as CEO of the then Metabo AG in 2009. He initiated a change in strategy in the very first months, the core of which was the focus on professional users. Under his direction, Metabo has continued to develop and, among other things, has regularly impressed with technological world firsts in the important growth field of battery-powered power tools. Garbrecht has also played a decisive role in shaping the industry beyond the boundaries of Metabo. For example, the Cordless Alliance System (CAS), which was presented in 2018, is the world's first cross-brand battery system and was created on his initiative. Nine founding members have become a brand alliance led by Metabo and currently comprising 25 partners. They all trust Metabo's approach and therefore work with a one hundred percent compatible system based on Metabo's battery technology.
Turnover doubled from 296 to 594 million euros
Garbrecht's economic record is also impressive. When he joined the company in 2009, turnover was 296 million euros with a clearly negative result. In the 2020/2021 financial year, which ended at the end of March, Metabo generated 594 million euros, and the EBIT margin is in the high single digits. Garbrecht also led the HiKOKI brand to significant growth in Europe last year.
Garbrecht's time at the helm of Metabo and later KOKI Holdings Europe saw three changes of ownership. In 2012, the financial investor Chequers Capital took a stake in the then family-owned company. Three years later, Hitachi Koki took over the shares in Metabo. In 2017, Hitachi Koki became KOKI Holdings after the American financial investor KKR took over the power tool division of the Hitachi Group.