Hornschuch Group's Rolf Gemmersdörfer Passes Away
February 11, 2014
Rolf J. Gemmersdörfer, president and CEO of the Hornschuch Group, passed away Feb. 5, 2014 in Bad Mergentheim, Germany.
“The news shocked and devastated all of us," says Dr. Hans-Hinrich Kruse, chairman of the Board of Konrad Hornschuch AG. “We mourn for a man for whom closeness to the employees and Hornschuch was particularly important. This, together with his extraordinarily strategic foresight, his negotiating skill, and his highly committed personality shaped his dealings in the management of our company.”
After completing his study of business economics, Gemmersdörfer joined Wella in 1976 as product manager. In 1979, he moved to Richardson GmbH, where played a major role in the acquisition of Pantene and Vidal Sassoon. In 1987, Gemmersdörfer took on a new challenge as the director of Marketing & International Sales at Attisholz / Hakle in Mainz and quickly helped the company to become profitable. From 1992 to 1998, he worked with Tempo Taschentücher as the spokesman of the management of Vereinigte Papierwerke Schickedanz in Nuremberg, and as general manager for Central Europe of the Gillette subsidiary Oral-B Laboratories GmbH.
Gemmersdörfer joined Konrad Hornschuch AG as the sole member of the board on Aug. 1, 1998, and became chairman in 2003, working to promote the umbrella brand strategy for d-c-fix and skai. During his tenure, he presided over the management buyout and subsequent private equity financing. The turnover of the Hornschuch Group more than tripled during his years as the head of the company, in part by acquiring kek-Kaschierungen GmbH, Herbolzheim, O’Sullivan Films Inc., and ERA Beschichtung GmbH & Co. On Oct. 1, 2013, Gemmersdörfer assumed the position of president and CEO of Hornschuch Group GmbH.
In addition to his function at Hornschuch, Gemmersdörfer was active in numerous honorary offices. He served as vice president and Senator h.c. of the Senat der Wirtschaft, board member of the Wirtschafts und Arbeitgeberverband Südwesttextil, and advisory board member of the Bad Mergentheim campus of the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Mosbach, campaigning to introduce young talent to Hornschuch as soon as possible. He considered employees and lively team spirit to be primary keys to success, the company reports.