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Panalpina shifts power of decision closer to customer base

December 12 - The Panalpina Group is putting in place three regional CEOs for Europe/Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas, tasked with implementing the recently defined Corporate Strategy 2014.

Marco Gadola, chief financial officer, will become the RCEO Asia Pacific. Volker Boehringer, area manager Central Europe, will become the RCEO Europe/Middle East. The search for the RCEO Americas as well as the new CFO is under way. The changes will come into effect in the first half of 2012, says Panalpina.

"Our ambitious growth targets that we have defined for 2014 demand that we adapt the way in which we manage the markets. We need to shift power of decision from corporate headquarters in Basel closer to where our customers do business," said CEO Monika Ribar. "If we want to exploit trade lanes out of Asia, we need to win more local customers there. This in turn requires more local decision-taking," explained Ribar.

"What we are doing is a logical further development of the organisation. First, we have defined our corporate strategy for the coming years. Now we are ready for more decisions to be taken in the network," said Karl Weyeneth, chief operating officer. The reporting structures for the regional setup reflect the intent to have lean entities. "We know out of experience that the regions have to be lean and add real value to the organisation," added Weyeneth.

The RCEOs will report to the CEO. Their job will be to implement the Corporate Strategy 2014, drive growth and increase profitability. The area managers, regional marketing and sales, strategic development and finance will report directly to the RCEOs.

Panalpina will enlarge its management body into the Executive Committee (ExCom). The members of the executiveboard, the global heads of Air Freight, Ocean Freight and Logistics, the global head of Marketing and Sales and the three RCEOs will constitute this body and meet every quarter. The focus of the ExCom will be steering the core business, the products and the progress of strategy implementation. It will set and monitor performance and business targets. While the area managers will no longer report to the CEO but to the RCEOs, Panalpina's existing area structure will remain the same.

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