Insights | Berghof Group

A strong team

November 3, 2020

The great strength of the Berghof Group, located in Eningen, is its enormous diversity. It has become increasingly clear that the structure of a strategic holding company whose CEO also significantly determines the strategic course of all business units, a model established in 2014, is no longer suited to fulfill the demands of this great complexity in the best possible way. This is why the group of companies, founded in 1966 by Prof. Georg Zundel, is heading for the future with a new, highly collaborative management concept that concentrates the business expertise of all the managing directors and transfers even more decision-making responsibility to the individual units.

Sometimes it simply takes a fresh view from outside to discover completely new paths. Berghof is the best example: in the first half of 2020, the advisory board of the Berghof Group was installed for the first time, and this very committee was the driving force behind this new management concept. The idea behind it: With their personal skills, the managing directors of the subsidiaries form a very diverse pool of knowledge – and it is intended that the entire Group will benefit from this knowledge more than ever, in line with the corporate vision “Your Innovation Hub“.

Therefore, Eric Wildeboer, who at the same time will stay in office as managing director of the subsidiary Berghof Membranes, and Oliver Walter, who simultaneously will be responsible as managing director for the subsidiary Berghof Fluoroplastics, will from now on also manage the development of the holding company, joined by Heinz-Uwe Vogel, the Group CFO, as the third member of the board. This trio will share the whole bunch of overarching management tasks, in keeping with their individual strengths and professional experience: While Heinz-Uwe Vogel will continue to be in charge of commercial issues, Eric Wildeboer will from now on work on a peak performance structure in sales, marketing and strategy. Oliver Walter’s core areas will be strategic production and facility management.

With this joint management team of equals, the holding company will from now on function as a shared service center, supporting the subsidiaries in central functions such as controlling, accounting or facility management. As a consequence, there is no further need of a top CEO of the Berghof holding company. As a result of this new management structure, Berghof no longer requires the support of interim CEO Peter Hirblinger. Therefore, the company has terminated his contract.

More than ever before, strategic responsibility, but also responsibility for sales and earnings, will now lie with the managing directors of the six Berghof subsidiaries. Vogel, Wildeboer and Walter will jointly prepare decisions of overarching significance, for example in terms of new structures and processes. Draft resolutions for the associates will be worked out by the board of all managing directors as a team.


“We developed this new, very collaborative management approach and decided on it as a team with all managing directors. Together with the advisory board and the associates, we are convinced that this approach just fits in better with our network organization,“ Vogel, Wildeboer and Walter explain this step.

The technology and family company Berghof, founded in 1966 and headquartered in Eningen unter Achalm (Reutlingen district, Stuttgart region), stands for an intensive exchange of knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. Today, this way to cooperate is expressed in the idea of the “Innovation Hub“, which is lived by the approximately 400 employees in nine different business divisions. The Berghof Group serves numerous growth markets such as photonics, water treatment and e-mobility.