The Wüsthof Group has announced the appointment of Jan-Patrick Schmitz as CEO and chairman of the management board, coming into effect from January 1, 2021.
“We have been working closely together for more than a year and during this time we have come to appreciate him as a person and a manager. We share the same values, which are reflected in our strategic growth plan, Project 8. Together, we have further refined our vision for Wüsthof’s future,” company owners Viola Wüsthof and Harald Wüsthof said in a letter to their employees.
“Several years ago, we successfully initiated the evolution from a Solingen-based knife manufacturer to a global premium consumer brand. With Jan-Patrick at the helm for the Wüsthof Group, we will continue to pursue this strategic growth path.”
The company’s new CEO grew up in Kleve on the Lower Rhine, studied in Germany and the United States, and spent many years in Japan. Today, he lives with his family in New Jersey, close to Wüsthof’s North American headquarters.
He still has strong ties with Germany. For more than two decades, he worked for the Montblanc Group, headquartered in Hamburg. For several years, he has been Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Steiff Group, the world-renown German family-owned consumer goods and automotive technology company. As a board member of the German- American Chamber of Commerce in New York, Jan-Patrick built bridges across the Atlantic for many German and American companies.