The early development of a strategic successor concept has been successfully completed for Schneeweiss Interior. The group of companies, specialized in furniture and interior design, includes the long-established companies Hiller Objektmoebel GmbH, the Austrian-based Braun Lockenhaus GmbH as well as the stainless steel manufacturer Rosconi GmbH with its brand D-TEC. With retroactive effect from January 1, 2020, the long-time managing director of Hiller Objektmoebel GmbH and rosconi GmbH, Alexander Gut, becomes majority shareholder of Schneeweiss Interior group and, together with owner Juergen Dreher, also CEO of Schneeweiss GmbH.
Profitable association of seven companies
In 2006 a first amicable change in corporate structure took place, which was characterized by mutual trust between Rolf Hiller, company owner at that time, and a new management generation. Senator Juergen Dreher and Alexander Allgaier, authorized officer, turned Hiller Objektmoebel GmbH once more into an owner-managed company by taking over the shares. Over the following decade both successfully transformed the company into today’s Schneeweiss interior, a future-oriented, profitable association of seven firms that meets the challenges of innovation and transformation in one group. Numerous renowned design awards for product developments as well as the prestigious German Innovation Award 2019 for the digital numbering and information system “no.e” represent a successful and at the same time conscious strategic usage of the synergies from creative lab, manufacture and logistics.
Contrary to other medium-sized companies, which often cope with the topic of succession planning far too late, Juergen Dreher deliberately initiated this complex process at an early stage. “If such an important transfer is implemented too late, this can result in serious tensions within the company as well as with everyone involved. We intended to prevent this worst-case scenario by means of a second, equally amicable change in corporate structure”, states Dreher. “Right from the start, my personal entrepreneurial vision did not only include the achievement of milestones like striking sales figures, winning over new target groups or building an experience center as a symbol of our corporate culture. To me, developing a succession plan is a permanent entrepreneurial task. In other words, the sustainable retention of jobs in Germany and Austria has constantly been at the center of my thinking and acting.” Neither a sale of the corporate companies nor the participation of external investors have ever been up for debate for Juergen Dreher.
Cycling team important source for management level employees
“Actually, I should be honest and admit that we are in a rather ‘luxurious’ situation when it comes to internal company succession: With Alexander Gut, industrial engineering graduate, CEO of Hiller and rosconi, we are having a suitable, committed as well as interested candidate within our management board for almost 10 years. He knows products, processes, employees, customers and suppliers so well that he can easily lead Schneeweiss Interior as a family business into the future”, states Dreher. Similar to six other employees at management level, the contact between Schneeweiss Interior and Alexander Gut arose during his time as a racing cyclist: In 2008, the company supported the “Racing Students” project, an amateur cycling team, which allows high-performance athletes to undergo arduous professional training while pursuing their sporting career, as a premium sponsor.
Alexander Gut new majority shareholder
Extending over 1,000 square meters, the recently opened Experience Center marks another visionary milestone, added to the company’s history by owner Juergen Dreher. The safeguarding of the future of Schneeweiss Interior at the beginning of the new century is another strategically important message. Both Juergen Dreher and Alexander Allgaier will continue their work as managing directors of their respective companies, thus maintaining the current operational and strategic practice.
“With my appointment as majority shareholder, our joint work efforts have reached their peak. This strengthens my professional and emotional ties to Schneeweiss Interior even more. The previous shareholders place their trust not only in me, but in the company’s future as well”, admits the new majority shareholder Alexander Gut.
Schneeweiss sets revenue goal at € 20 mln for 2020
“In addition to the topics of digitalization and further expansion, my personal agenda for the future also includes the proof that securing a production location, entrepreneurial thinking and customer satisfaction can go hand in hand. Our corporate group generated an impressive number of 54 million euro in sales with almost 300 employees in 2019, rosconi managed to exceed the mark of 10 million euro. This means that a sales figure of almost 60 million euro in 2020 is going to become a tangible goal and incentive for me.”