27 March 2020 | Pressemitteilung
Christian Kullmann, chairman of the executive board of Evonik Industries AG, has been appointed new president of the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) with immediate effect, succeeding Hans Van Bylen. Also by appointment of the VCI presidential council, Markus Steilemann (CEO of Covestro AG) has assumed the role of VCI vice-president.
Due to the corona epidemic, the VCI presidential council made both decisions, which are to be endorsed by the general assembly in Düsseldorf in September 2020, in the written circulation procedure.
Kullmann states: “The corona epidemic is a fundamental change and a test for our country and for all of us. In this exceptional situation, our companies are doing whatever they can to supply the public and the health system with medical goods without thinking of profits. We are pooling our resources to develop virus tests, vaccines and medicines and to make available disinfectants and plastics for protective clothing and medical equipment.”
According to Kullmann, it is now essential to secure jobs and to stabilise the economy: “Together with politicians and trade unions, we need to create the prerequisites for our economy to return to growth as soon as possible.
In particular, this applies to the ‘Mittelstand’ – the medium-sized enterprises which have been forming for decades the reliable backbone of the German economy, especially in the chemical industry.”
Seeking and driving forward an open and objective dialogue with politicians and society – Kullmann identifies this as one of the central tasks of his presidency: “In order to strengthen the performance of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry, we need business-friendly framework conditions in Germany so that we can hold our own and grow in international competition. After all, the chemical industry is an essential starting point of much needed value and supply chains. Right now, it becomes apparent that our researchers and developers are carrying out immense tasks for humankind, for example, in medicine, nutrition and the fight against climate change. Chemistry is the only way towards a sustainable society, as we are the engineers of the future.”
Christian Kullmann (51) was appointed member of the executive board of the special chemicals group Evonik in 2014; he has been chairman of the executive board since 2017. Following studies of economic history, Kullmann launched his career in 1994 in Frankfurt. In 2003, he moved from the Dresdner Bank to RAG AG in Essen. Evonik Industries AG was formed in 2007 from the merger of RAG and Degussa AG. As a manager, Kullmann acts from the conviction that a company and a society can only be successful in the long run if economic, ecological and social interests are brought into a fair balance.
Please note: Press photos of the new VCI president are available in the download section at the top of this page.
The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,700 German chemical and pharmaceutical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses in contacts with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media. In 2020, the industry realised sales of nearly 190 billion euros and employed around 464,000 staff.
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