Phoenix gets a new chief executive officer

Phoenix gets a new chief executive officer
Sven Seidel has worked for the Otto Group and Lidl

11 September 2019 - Deborah Wilkes

Germany's Phoenix will have a new chief executive officer from 1 November 2019.

Phoenix said the current chief executive officer, Oliver Windholz, would "conclude his work for the company" on 30 September 2019.

The retailer and wholesaler commented that Windholz and the supervisory board of Phoenix had "mutually agreed not to extend the contract which expires on 31 January 2020".

Seidel has worked for Otto Group and Lidl

Windholz will be replaced by Sven Seidel who will join Phoenix on 1 November 2019 from e-commerce company Otto Group. He is the member of Otto's executive board with responsibility for Multichannel Retail.

Before joining Otto, Seidel was chief executive officer of the discount supermarket chain Lidl.

Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the supervisory board of Phoenix, described Seidel as a "highly competent successor who can rely on a wealth of experience in the retail business".

Otto said Seidel was "one of Europe's most renowned retail executives".

Windholz has been chief for five years

Windholz has been a member of the executive board of Phoenix since 1 February 2011. He became chief executive officer on 1 February 2014, and was responsible for sales and marketing throughout Europe.

He has been with the Merckle Group for more than 25 years, working for HeidelbergCement and ratiopharm as well as Phoenix.

Scheifele said Windholz had played a "decisive role" in shaping Phoenix over the past five years and "driving successfully business development".

"Under the leadership of Windholz, the Phoenix group transformed from a traditional pharmaceutical wholesaler to an integrated healthcare provider active in 27 countries," commented the company.

Phoenix noted that Marcus Freitag was joining its executive board on 1 November 2019. He will be responsible for the newly-established function of sales and marketing Pharmaceutical Wholesale/Pharmacy Solutions.

Freitag has been with Phoenix since 2007 and has been managing director of Phoenix Germany since 2017.

Phoenix operates more than 2,500 of its own pharmacies in 14 European countries under the Apotek1, Benu and Rowlands Pharmacy brands. The wholesaling business of Phoenix operates in 27 countries, and the Phoenix Pharmacy Partnership has more than 13,500 member pharmacies in 16 countries.

Recent financial results

In the three months ended 30 April 2019, Phoenix reported a total operating performance – comprising revenue and handling for service charge – of EUR8.32 billion (USD9.26 billion). This represented a rise of 4.1% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The wholesaler and retailer said revenue had increased by 3.9% to EUR6.56 billion. Excluding the impact of currency translations, revenue was up by 6.0%.

Growth was driven in part by the acquisition on 31 July 2018 of the Romanian pharmaceutical wholesaler Farmexim and its national pharmacy chain Help Net Farma. The deal took the German company into the Romanian market (click here to read the News story).

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 16.7% to EUR108 million.

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