After 31 years as CEO, Bernd Meerpohl decided together with the Supervisory Board and the family shareholders of Big Dutchman that the time is right for a change in top management of the Big Dutchman group. Dr. Frank Hiller will bring new and external stimuli to complement the stable and proven management team. With Bernd Meerpohl taking over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, not only will this position in itself be secured, but Big Dutchman will visibly remain a family enterprise.
“In the past decades, Bernd Meerpohl has shaped the development of Big Dutchman and set the course for the group’s future. He always had all stakeholders in mind and was incredibly committed and dedicated to advancing the family business. The Supervisory Board and the family shareholders want to thank Bernd for all the time and effort he invested in the company and the staff to make Big Dutchman the world leader in livestock farming technology. We are very happy that Bernd will continue to share his knowledge and remain responsible for the company as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, starting 1 January 2024 after a short hiatus. The outlook for our industry is complex, but promising. Against this backdrop, we have found an experienced and competent CEO in Dr.-Ing. Frank Hiller. He will successfully lead our globally active company in the next phase,” says Jürgen Steinemann, current Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Bernd Meerpohl explains: “Taking over my father’s responsibility as CEO 31 years ago was an honour, as was advancing the company for the benefit of our customers all over the world and for the benefit of our staff and their families. The Meerpohl family, my closest colleagues, the Supervisory Board and I believe that someone new should now take over the operational business of Big Dutchman to integrate new stimuli from the outside. Dr. Hiller’s grounded approach fits us very well. With his doctor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, he brings along a more than solid foundation. In the course of his career, which included positions with some of the leaders of the mechanical engineering industry, for example Meiller, Leoni and, most recently, as CEO of Deutz AG, Dr. Hiller has gained extensive knowledge and proved that he is a team player who is very capable of leading an international company. I would like to thank Jürgen Steinemann, the Chairman of our Supervisory Board, for actively accompanying me personally as well as Big Dutchman in general these past years. I am very pleased that he will remain part of the Supervisory Board as deputy chairman. Personally, I will continue to support the company in my new position, as much as I can and in close cooperation with Dr. Hiller.”
Dr. Frank Hiller adds: “Bernd Meerpohl is a remarkable entrepreneur who has invested much energy and spirit to position Big Dutchman as the international, innovative market leader of an industry that sees its duty in helping to guarantee that the world’s population can be fed. I am looking forward to succeeding him as CEO and securing and advancing the market position of Big Dutchman, together with the Board of Management and all employees, and of course in close cooperation with Mr. Meerpohl as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board.”